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Promoting normalization at Children's Hospital

Posted at 8:18 AM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 09:18:10-04

For one nine-year-old from Sioux City, Iowa, Omaha is temporarily home.   

Back in January, Brenden Buracker began treatment at Children's Hospital for a rare chronic condition.  Brenden says most kids don't stay as long as him and his release date is to be determined.  But, while he is here he is making the most out of it.  

"He is kind of like the mayor of the floor, if not of the hospital, because he is everywhere and at every event," said Child Life Specialist Melissa Epley.  

Child Life Specialist Melissa Epley and Brenden have become quick friends.

"She is funny, she is nice, she is kind and helpful," said Brenden. 

As a Child Life Specialist, Epley's job is to promote a normal environment for the patients.  Brenden says he takes advantage of everything the child life department offers. Patients can partake in everything from bingo, to baking, to craft night. 

"In the child life world they always say play is a child's work, that is their job and they develop through play," said Epley. 

And one thing most kids like to play are video games.

"You just have to ask child life to bring it to your room and they bring it to your room," said Brenden. 

Recently, six portable Xboxes were donated to the hospital, making Epley's job a little easier and Brenden's room feel a little more like home.