For several years, the radiology staff at WCA Hospital desired to improve the comfort and safety of pediatric patients who underwent X-ray testing. It was sometimes very difficult to keep a child comfortable and from moving during the procedure. Thanks to the generosity of the patrons of The Rio restaurant, and the creativity of WCA Hospital employees, their vision was recently realized.
Last summer, John Curtiss, owner of The Rio restaurant in Frewsburg who was well-known for his long, blonde ponytail, decided that he would be willing to cut and donate his hair to support pediatric cancer patients through Locks of Love. His idea generated momentum amongst his patrons and continued to grow in scope.
"Our patrons got really excited with the idea of benefiting sick children," Curtiss said. "This was something we had never done before, but my customers really pulled together in a fantastic way."
Pictured, from left, representing the WCA Hospital construction team: Steve Davis and Mike Field join Lisa Webster, senior radiology technician, and John Curtiss, owner of The Rio, to show off the new “Field Pediatric X-Ray Chair” which is occupied by pediatric patient Kolton Bouckhuyt. The creation of this custom-made chair was made possible through the combined efforts of the patrons of The Rio restaurant and the WCA Hospital staff members who are featured in the photo.
Ultimately, additional fundraisers were added to the cause and the decision was made for the dollars raised to stay local for the benefit of pediatric patients. Curtiss called Karl Sisson, WCA director of development, to tell him they had raised $684 for pediatric patients served by WCA Hospital, but wasn't sure where or how to use the gift.
"I contacted the departments here at WCA who treat pediatric patients to see where there might be an appropriate need," Sisson said. "The Radiology Department explained their desire for a pediatric X-ray chair, and John immediately liked the idea."
Radiology employees tested the only X-ray chair that could be found on the market, but it did not live up to expectations, so it was returned. From there, Mike Field and Steve Davis, members of the WCA Hospital construction team, developed a prototype chair from raw materials. Their creation (the Field Pediatric X-Ray Chair) features primary colors and comfortable features, and was very well received by employees and patients alike, according to WCA.
"Because children are calmer and not squirming," said Tammara Hodges, director of imaging at WCA Hospital, "we can produce better X-ray images."
"The kids love the chair. I love to see the smiles on their faces, which we rarely experienced previously," said Robert Storms, X-Ray Department manager.
"I think it's awesome," Curtiss said after seeing the chair for the first time. I couldn't be happier because the chair was built right. I just love the design and colors."
To learn more about The Rio, including the restaurant's "Burgers From Around the World" menu, call 569-2030 or visit www.theriofrewsburg.com.
To support the care and treatment of pediatric patients at WCA Hospital, contact WCA Hospital Development Office, at 664-8423, view the Wish List at www.wcahospital.org, or mail a tax-deductible gift to: WCA Office of Development, PO Box 840, Jamestown, NY 14702-0840.