SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — We’ve met some of the doctors and nurses saving COVID-19 patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital, but inside the hospital, is also a team of Child Life Specialists. Their work to ease fears and anxieties around treatment and surgery hasn’t gone away, it’s become even harder.

Gina Lozito and her team at Golisano Children’s Hospital were doing the impossible before the pandemic. Now, they’re going a step further.

It’s a different animal when you’re isolated in a strange environment that is already difficult to cope with, and then you take away the things that kind of make it easier or familiar.

Gina Lozito

Visits from the zoo, the MOST, and various performers all stopped when COVID came. They’re pretty big tools Lozito uses to help our youngest warriors fight the toughest battles.

“We see kids with a respiratory virus to cystic fibrosis to cancer to traumas,” she said.

Lozito says the hardest challenge for patients in the pandemic is that once they’re admitted, they can’t leave their room. So they’re cut off from a support system of other patients.

“The thing that really used to help them was seeing that there were other kids in the same situation or similar situations. So, I have an IV in my hand, oh you have an IV in your hand,” said Lozito.

All of that has stopped. So, like the rest of us, this team adapted. They’ve traded group events for arts and crafts, games, and video games in the patient’s rooms. They’re doing anything to bring joy to sick children and the rest of the hospital.

In April, they made bright, supportive signs and hung them throughout the hospital to encourage staff.

“The more that we support each other, the better off we are going to be for our community.”

gina lozito

Lozito has been doing this for more than 20 years. She’s very good at putting aside her own stress to be a bright face for those who need as many smiles as they can get.

It’s something she’s proud to do and she won’t stop, especially now.

I know I did my job right when the kids don’t want to leave.

Gina Lozito