Child receives early Christmas gift after being discharged from hospital

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A 3-year-old girl has been discharged from the hospital after spending Christmas there for the last two years.

Carina Yacavone has spent her last two Christmases at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital because of a rare blood disorder.

But this year, Santa will have to drop off Carina's presents at home.

Carina's mom, Noel Yacavone, says the entire family can't wait to finally celebrate with her.

"It's a long time coming and it's very exciting. She has an older sister, who...It's not just her. It's everybody who suffers when you're not together for a holiday," Yacavone says. She adds that this year’s celebration will be special for the family. "She'll get to spend it with cousins and aunts and uncles and her grandmother, and mother and father."

Unlike Carina, not every child will be able to be home on Christmas, but the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital staff is doing everything they can to make the holiday as special as possible. A space at the hospital has been set to store toys for Christmas morning.

"All of these wonderful large boxes are going to be going to each one of the patients in the children's hospital for of the wonderful things we do over the holiday," says hospital art therapist Gabrielle Bellettieri.

Hospital staff say their larger-than-life decorations and month-long visits from Santa boost their spirits.

"We don't want them to look back and think that we forgot about Christmas or they forgot about Christmas. We try to give them a positive memory here, as well as getting their care that they need," says hospital nurse Morgan Wilson.

But their biggest gift will be to one day send them home.



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