Murphy Malone unloads fifty Pillow Pets, all destined to be gifts to children staying at Yale New Haven Hospital over the holidays. “It’s nice, it’s nice to give back,” says the 14 year old from Cheshire. “It’s the least I can do. I’m not the one going through the struggles.”
But Murphy knows what it’s like to struggle. The generosity is a result of his own experience. He was treated at this facility when he was born with a congenital heart defect.
“Basically his pulmonary artery and aorta were switched so he was essentially dying at birth. He went blue and had emergency surgery,” says mom Kathleen. “It was completely terrifying, such a shock.”
But surgery at Yale New Haven was successful. Murphy, now a 9th grader, is healthy, playing soccer and doing well in school. “It’s brilliant, it really is great,” says Kathleen who hopes their story is inspiring for families going through a tough time. “These are things we never imagined would happen so it was good for me as a parent to be able to tell someone with a newborn there’s hope ahead.”
“To have kids donating to other kids means so much,” says Teresa McGinley, a Child Life Specialist at the hospital, who works with the children who are thrilled to receive the cozy presents. “That’s part of our job to bring some of that normalization to them when they’re here…letting them have a teddy bear or a pillow pet to play with so they don’t feel so alone and in a strange place.”
Murphy is paying it forward with a giving heart that’s strong and full of spirit. “If I can make one kid happy, I did a good job,” he says.
Murphy and his mom hope this tradition continues through the years, only growing bigger with time.