Good Night Lights: The new tradition to say good night to kids at Dayton Children's
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - It's a less than two minute ride from Miami Valley Hospital to Dayton Children's Hospital by Careflight.
Once in the air, you can see an illuminated infantry on the ground.
"It's kind of like an invisible hug," Mandy Via, Outreach Manager and Flight Nurse for Careflight Mobile and Air Services said.
While all this is going on, a message is playing inside the hospital, over the speaker system: "Go to your window and look at the lights. Our public safety officers, Dayton Police, and other first responders will be flashing their lights to show that they are thinking about you."
Patients and families inside the hospital can see the Good Night Lights outside their windows. Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m., those lights turn on.
4-year-old Beckett and his family have spent many sleepless nights at Children's, and taking a moment to relax is often a luxury.
"It means more to us than they would even know," Nathan Richards, Beckett's father, said.
"It allows us to disconnect form what we're going through and just kind of have something to look forward to," his mother Kelly said.
"It's a tradition now. So we have to continue it," Aundray Toney, Chief of Security at Dayton Children's, said.
He and several others are responsible for the light show on the ground.
"It takes a lot of work," he said. "Takes a lot of people. So I didn't do it by myself. I had a lot of help."
All that work, Toney says, is for the kids.
"I can only imagine that a child that's upstairs that all they're thinking about is what's wrong with me, or this is why I'm here, kind of takes their mind off of it for a minute," he said.
Back in the sky, Amanda Via and the Careflight crew take a moment to soak in the scene.
"For us to be able to go and say goodnight to them, that just means the world to us," Via said. "We hope that they know that there's a lot of people out there pulling for them, that we're really, we're watching out for them."
"We have a few friends that are on the police force and some of them are out there tonight," Kelly said, "and I think it's just another way for everybody to connect."
"Just to see the love and support form everyone and it just means more to us than they know," said Nathan.
"Our policeman and paramedics and everything, they're our heroes, and so it's heroes saying goodnight to heroes," said Kelly.
Dayton Children’s is also asking the community to get involved. All you have to do is show up every Tuesday night by 8 p.m. Bring a flashlight so you can say good night to the kids.