Spring Fest brings Easter experience to patients at children’s hospital in Salt Lake City

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Spring Fest at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Salt Lake City is made for every patient to experience an Easter egg hunt they are capable of participating in.

“These eggs are strategically hidden on surfaces that kids in a wheelchair can hunt independently, they don’t need their aide or a parent to help; they can grab the eggs themselves,” explained Shriners’ recreational therapist, Laura Hollingshead.

She said the Easter egg hunt and spring time activities, like the petting zoo and face painting, allow the therapists to experience what the children experience outside of the hospital setting.

“We get to see them, not only when they come for surgery or physical therapy or get new prosthetics or orthotics, but we also get to play with them,” Hollingshead sad

Daniel Zamora, 11, was using his medical equipment to prepare him for a back surgery next month. He has been at Shriners for five weeks and has been looking forward to the Easter egg hunt on Wednesday.

Because he is somewhat situated inside a chair to aid him with support, he uses a grabber tool for some extra reach.

“My grabber is for picking up Easter eggs and like stuff with it,” Daniel said.

Target stores coordinated the Easter egg hunt and had employees and volunteers stuffing 4,000 colorful plastic eggs with candy for the children.

“We are spreading them all around here on the grass and up over here for the children in wheelchairs who aren’t able to get on the grass,” said Cat Briton, a veteran volunteer of 18 years partnering with Shriners.

Wednesday’s Easter egg hunt and spring activities were emotional for Briton because she is retiring after it ends.

“I’m very emotional and it’s very hard on me,” she said. “It’s the most rewarding thing ever.”

To learn more about what Shriners has to offer, click here.