Superheroes surprise pediatric patients at Winfield hospital

WINFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- There were several superhero sightings in Winfield Monday as Spiderman, Superman, Captain America and more dropped in on pediatric patients to celebrate National Superhero Day.

The superheroes shared the same superpower: bringing joy to young patients at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital.

Jahrel Banks, 14, is back in the hospital getting treatment for sickle cell anemia.

"I was surprised. Shocked," said Banks.

National Superhero Day celebrates patients, families, nurses, physicians and first responders, who join together to battle big health problems.

Volunteers in various costumes walked the hospital floors of the pediatric wing with wagons of toys to give away.

Jahrel was given a few presents and was paid a visit from Wonder Woman, his favorite.

"My kid was kind of down in the dumps dealing with his sickle cell crisis. When he heard about superheroes coming in, he brightened up," said his father Veldee Banks.

Several organizations teamed up to make this day special, including the Superhero Collective, run by Tim Brigham, or, as he was known Monday, Batman.

Brigham started the Superhero Collective a few years ago when his young son was in the hospital and he saw how staff went to great lengths to cheer up patients.

"We never know what we're gonna see or who we're gonna visit, but every single time the reactions were amazing," Brigham said.

Batman paid a visit to 8-year old Teagan Kunkel, who suffers from asthma.

"It's not comfortable or anything," said Kunkel.

"It's something nice where it cheers you up. Looking forward to keep going, getting better," said her father Jeremy Kunkel.

The hospital's window washers wanted to get in on the superhero fun, so they put on costumes and scaled the building, much to the delight of young patients.

Patients who were well enough to leave their rooms got to see Superman, Spiderman, and Captain America hanging from the building.

It was an exciting end to a day all about lifting the spirits of the young patients, who are the real superheroes of the day.
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