LC Memorial Hospital’s youngest patients get a little ‘dino therapy’

Published 5:18 pm Thursday, June 23, 2022

By Sudan Britton

Nothing is better than some “dino therapy” at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

The Dino & Dragon Stroll popped up Thursday at the hospital to surprise young patients with dino-mite hands-on interactions using animatronic life-like dinosaurs and dragons. Children and parents could experience up-close and personal interactions with a massive dinosaur named Buck and a baby dinosaur named Butterscotch.

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Sound technology was enhanced with advanced features to present a more memorable and realistic dinosaur adventure for the patients.

Allie Livingston, the hospital’s communications manager, said medical facilities can be challenging for children, but “dino therapy” can stimulate a boost of positive energy during their stay.

The Dino & Dragons Stroll team — which are set up at the Lake Charles Civic Center this weekend — uses the “dino therapy” visits to bring smiles to young patients in each city they visit. Marketing Director Dawn Kelley is over the North America entertainment experiences and events for the CV Events at Dino & Dragon Stroll Tour. She said the goal was to give the children a few hours of happiness and dino-mite smiles.

“It is our mission to bring happiness to children and families across the country, and visiting with the children in the hospital is part of our heartfelt mission. Since we are in Lake Charles this weekend for our event, it was a priority for us to be able to come over and visit with the children at Memorial Hospital,” Kelley said.

Pediatric patient Alexander Calda admitted having mixed feelings about the dinosaurs. He said he liked the giant dinosaur, but the baby dinosaur frightened him. The larger dinosaur made him feel happy, though.

“The baby dino scared me,” Calda said.

Maelyn Engel was an enthused visitor.

“I want to go see,” Engel said when she heard a peculiar noise in the hallway.

She said the dinosaurs were fun, and she got to pet and kiss the creatures.

They also used their feet to gesture they were waving.

“It is the most heartwarming feeling and makes our entire team so happy to be able to do this,” Kelly said. “Our mission is to do family events to bring others happiness.”