Patients at Arkansas Children's Hospital ride in style

(KATV Photo)

Three-year-old Ben Waggoner is as happy as can be, because how can you not smile when you get to roll out of the hospital in a classy ride? In just the past few weeks, Children’s Hospital has implemented remote control cars for patients to ride from room to room or when leaving the hospital.

“The main reasons we want to use this is because the stress level in a hospital can be extremely high and any time we can lower that stress level is going to be advantageous for the patient, whether it’s just them to get better or just to help us get to another procedure,” said Chris Byrd-Roberts, Director of Patient Transportation.

“Did you go fast? Yah. Do you see these buttons? These buttons make the car go fast,” said Waggoner.

In order to ride in the remote-control cars, patients must weigh between 35 to 75 pounds and are self-sustaining while sitting. This program is boosting the morale throughout the hospital.

“We had 50 people exclaim, 'Oh my gosh, that’s so cool!' or, 'It’s so cute.' If people that see the Children’s Hospital every single day have those kind of reactions, imagine what a patient is going to have when they see it roll into the room and they know, 'I get to go home in this. They did this just for me.' Even though it might be for every single patient, 'They did this just for me,'” said Bryd-Roberts.

The hospital usually transports patients in wheelchairs or wagons, but with their three new cars, kids have something more to look forward to.

“Their faces light up. It’s amazing; and the parents too” said Carrie Lee, Transport Services Director. “It’s not just the kid; it’s also about that family centered care and how the parents just love seeing their child be in a really great mood and getting to leave the hospital in that car is amazing. The parents have just been thrilled, the kids are thrilled, it’s the best of both worlds and it’s just great.”

In the interview below, a patient rides in the remote control car for the very first time.

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