Seahawks Brighten the Day for Patients at Seattle Children’s

Olivia Clifton
The Clifton family poses with Seahawks players in the playroom at Seattle Children’s.

Yesterday, patients and families at Seattle Children’s, home to some of the loudest, proudest and smallest 12s, received a special visit from Seattle Seahawks players and members of the Sea Gals as part of the team’s annual visit, Captain’s Blitz. It made Blue Tuesday, the brightest and bluest day of the week at the hospital, even more spirited than usual as patients and families got to meet and greet with their favorite football players.

A warm welcome

Olivia Clifton, 6 months old, was nothing but smiles as she posed with her mom and dad and a group of Seahawks players in the inpatient playroom at Seattle Children’s.

Although she’s too young to know who the players are, she’ll have photos that will last her family a lifetime.

“It’s not fun to be at the hospital, but today makes it better,” said Kellie Clifton, Olivia’s mother. “She seems really excited. One day when she’s older we’ll be able to look back on today and remember that it was a good day.”

Little Olivia was diagnosed at 3 months old with a genetic condition that causes fragile bones. Yesterday was only her second day in the hospital as a patient. The family said they couldn’t have asked for a better way to help cheer them up.

“It was a warm welcome. If you have to be in the hospital, today was a good day to be here,” said Clifton.

Olivia has a long road ahead of her. She’ll need to come back to Seattle Children’s every couple of months for infusions to treat her condition. But today isn’t about that, today is a day filled with smiles and Seahawks.

A cheerful goodbye

Gabby Krueger, 9, has been a patient at Seattle Children’s since she was just three days old. She’s been in and out of the hospital since birth with an undiagnosed condition that causes seizures, respiratory illnesses and gastrological issues.

“It’s been a long journey,” said Kim Sistek, Gabby’s mother.

Today, however, isn’t a sad day. Today was a celebration.

“It’s emotional, but today was a fun day,” said Sistek. “You see these big stars do such big things on the television and then you meet them in person and they’re so real. They were so genuinely happy to be here. We can’t thank them enough for putting smiles on our faces.”

After 14 weeks in the hospital, the Seahawks visit was the perfect way to celebrate the news that Gabby gets to go home next week.

“This stay didn’t have a lot of smiles,” said Sistek. “We’ve been here for a long time. But we certainly ended our stay with a smile.”