Jefferson County Sheriff's Association donates PS4s to pediatric units

Jefferson County Sheriff's Association donates PS4s to pediatric units

Three local medical facilities received some very generous and fun gifts from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Association (JCSA) on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

JCSA donated a total of nine Playstation 4 Star Wars Battlefront bundles complete with gaming consoles, controllers and the popular Star Wars video game to Baptist Hospital, Christus St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. Each facility received three gaming bundles, which will be used in the pediatric units.

Lorie Humberson, a registered nurse at St. Elizabeth, accepted the gifts on behalf of the hospital.

"These are great," she said of the donations. "As a distraction for pain management purposes, this is the best thing ever."

Katie Celli, director of marketing and public relations for the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, said being in the hospital for surgery or other treatment can be "scary" for children, but familiar activities and items may help alleviate some of that fear.

"It's not really a fun time for them," said Celli. "Having familiar items, doing the things they like to do at home, will help them feel like they are in a normal environment. This will definitely do the trick."

Jennifer Hignett is the director of day surgery and pre-assessment testing at Baptist Hospital. She said the gifts from JCSA would not only help assuage the children's fears but also go a long way in easing parents' anxieties.

"The best thing about these is, during pre-assessment, when parents come in to talk about procedures or potential surgeries, this is one less thing they will have to worry about. And, they will help alleviate boredom for the patients. They sometimes have to wait more than an hour (for observation) after surgery. I'm really excited about these gifts."

Hignett's son Brandon was present when the facilities received the gaming bundles. He recently had foot surgery due to extra bones in both feet. He is currently using a wheelchair for mobility. He said it can be pretty boring waiting around for surgery and release at the hospital, but he likes to game. At home, he has an Xbox 360, but he said the Playstation bundles were also cool, especially with the game that's included.

"It's very cool," Brandon said of the donation. "It will help get kids' minds off of things. I like playing Black Ops and Black Ops 2. I love Star Wars."

JCSA President Deputy William “Ike” Eichelberger said his group collects funds during their annual Cops Helping Kids saltwater fishing tournament each summer and distributes the funds through donated items and monies to deserving organizations throughout the area. This year, according to Ike, he contacted the medical facilities to see if they could use the gaming consoles in their pediatric units.

"It's all about the children," Ike said of JCSA's tournament and donations. "This time of year can be hard on families with children in the hospital. We just wanted to do what we can to help bring cheer to the kids and their families."

JCSA also donates to Girls' Haven, Boys' Haven, Garth House, and Project Graduations in Jefferson County, among others.