NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – After more than a week in the hospital in October, two-year-old Brynnley Vitale is giving back. 

Her goal is for children like her to smile during what can be a scary time.

Wednesday morning, she and her family donated hundreds of toys to Yale-New Haven Hospital, during a time of strain from RSV. They tell me their Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is nearly full from the recent surge. 

The contagious virus landed Brynnley there for eight days. Mom, Whitney Vitale, tells News 8 that her daughter has a rare lung condition that makes the two-year-old more susceptible to respiratory viruses. 

“It was stressful,” says Whitney Vitale. “I think a lot of parents are on high alert because this is affecting a lot of children right now.”

Whitney says her daughter has been hospitalized before following procedures and other sicknesses, but RSV led to her longest stay. Brynnley was rushed to the hospital after a lasting 103-degree fever and difficulty breathing.

“She wasn’t getting enough oxygen so that had to put her on the proper support,” Vitale said.

Although it’s a place Brynnley has been before, hospitals and medical equipment can be scary for young children. One thing never fails to make the two-year-old happy, a new toy from the toy closet.

“I think it changes her mindset of maybe it being a scary place to having something nice come out of it so she comes home with a smile every time,” Vitale said.

Last week during Brynnley’s stay, her mom noticed the toy supply was running low as the pediatric wing was full. So, they took matters into their own hands, buying toys themselves and also asking friends, family and neighbors if they wanted to help as well.

Within a few days, they collected 1,500 dollars to buy more toys and even more toys delivered to their North Haven front steps. It’s something Vitale says she never expected, but is grateful they can make a difference for children during a time of need.

“We saw all these inflows of support,” Vitale said. “I was like ‘woah, I got to go to the store and get all these toys,’ which is great!”

The toys are for children from newborn age to 12 years old. 

Vitale is now urging others to donate ahead of this busy cold and flu season.