By Chloe, 9, a Children’s National Hospital patient
When I grow up, I want to be a chef. I love to cook and eat. I also love to dance and sing. But last fall, I got so sick that I couldn’t do any of the things I love. I had a really high fever. My mom worried I had COVID-19. An ambulance brought me to Children’s National. Everyone in the emergency department wore outfits that looked like hazmat suits. I was scared.
Doctors said I had a serious illness related to COVID-19. It’s called MIS-C. I threw up a lot. I felt terrible. I thought I would never eat again. After a few days, I felt a little better. I felt a lot better after I got to meet Barney. His job as a hospital facility dog is to be sweet and hang out with kids who are sick. Barney made me feel less afraid. When I was panicky, he stayed close and calmed me down. We napped together and sometimes walked to the Healing Garden for fresh air. I finally went home after 18 days. I’ll never forget that dog. My favorite color is yellow, just like him. Every hospital needs a dog like Barney.