December 2013

Drawing Strength

Finding emotional healing through Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy

This story will appear in the Winter 2014 issue of Children’s View, an award-winning magazine published by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. View its online version here.

Sharing Card StoryMore than anything in the world, Vanessa Murillo loves to be with her family. At age 12, she is the youngest of five sisters, and when they are together, laughter pours out of the room. Vanessa’s expressive green-brown eyes dance as she says something mischievous — which happens a lot: Her mother, Gloria Orozco, just shakes her head and smiles. “As you can see, she’s a people person.”

It is difficult for any child to endure isolation in a hospital room, but for an outgoing personality like Vanessa, it is particularly tough. Last year she spent seven months straight at CHOP, virtually unable to leave her room for fear of getting a life-threatening infection. What was it like? Vanessa doesn’t mince words: “Horrible.”