Children's Hospital Surprises Patients with Snowfall

Ralphie Aversa
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Patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta dreaming of a white Christmas witnessed their dream come true earlier this month.

Atlanta is far from the Snowbelt, but that didn't stop the children's hospital from turning its three campuses into a winter wonderland with an hourlong snowfall. Zigmont Magic F/X, a company that provides effects services to movies and live events alike, manufactured the snow. The workers used 31 snow machines to create a white substance that looked just like the real deal but felt similar to cotton or the foam from soap.

"We just thought it'd be great to try and add a little magic and excitement to our kids' day here," Dr. Jim Fortenberry said to Fox 5 in Atlanta. "We thought, ‘What better way to do that than to add some snow?'"

As families gathered for a prebilled party, children made snow angels and staged snowball fights. Others simply went outside in their wheelchairs to experience the sight firsthand. Patients who couldn't leave their rooms watched from their windows as it snowed on a 57-degree day in Atlanta. All were surprised, as a handful of hospital employees had successfully guarded the secret until snowfall.

"Every child deserves to experience the magic and wonder of the holidays, especially if they have to be in the hospital this time of year," the hospital wrote on its website. "And we understand that small things can have a big impact."

The "change in weather" is far from the only impact the hospital has on its patients. It treats toddlers and teenagers across its three campuses and 20 locations throughout Georgia. Children are admitted to the hospital for everything from emergency care to heart transplants.