D.C.

Hope for Henry celebrates 10th anniversary

Decrease Increase Text size

In the hospital, time moves so slowly.

“It's his tenth procedure this year,” says Erica Noe, a parent at Children’s National Medical Center.

“Being in surgery for a couple days really stinks,” says her son, Eric.

He’s been in the hospital for six days. And when you’re 12 years old, that might as well be forever.

Only a superhero can make the clock move a little quicker.

With Legos and a lanyard, the world’s most famous vigilante and his sidekick Robin are making Eric’s stay a little better. It’s a trip made possible by Laurie Strongin.

Ten years ago, Strongin started “Hope for Henry.” The group has brought superheroes and princesses, presents and a lot of laughter to roughly 10,000 patients at Children’s National.

“Here we are with all of these superheroes and princesses in the hospital visiting every patient,” Strongin says. It’s a way for her to remember her son Henry, who died at just seven years old.

“It feels really great to be able to be able to make other kids happy, too,” she says. “Days like today, really do help me.”

Back in Noe’s hospital room, it’s a welcome gift and a quick break from seemingly endless boredom. For his mother, Erica, it’s a brief escape from a mother’s heartache.

“The small moments when they’re this happy are just, you know, those are the memories you want to make and those are the memories you keep forever with your kids,” she says.

So even if the minutes seem to crawl by, at least the moments are ones to hold on to.

Recommended For You