Hundreds of Comics, Watches Donated to Patients at Children’s Hospital

Boxes of comic books and locally designed wristwatches were shipped to the wards at the hospital following the Boston Marathon bombing.

Photo courtesy of James Bishai.

Photo courtesy of James Bishai

The wards at Boston Children’s Hospital are about to get more animated.

After finding out that multiple victims of the Boston Marathon bombing were children, Adri Cowan, a comic book fan and blogger, decided she needed to do something to bring a smile to the faces of those being cared for at the Longwood Avenue facility. “One thing that has brought me joy in my life, and a lot of other people joy, is comic books. I wanted to provide a distraction about what’s going on,” says Cowan. “These children are going to be in the hospital for awhile and being in the hospital [isn’t fun]. I picture it as white and barren place, and these comics are like these bright rays of sunshine. You can’t have a comic book in your hand and not be happy.”

Cowan, with the help of dozens of companies and local volunteers, has amassed boxes full of comic books that she plans to deliver to Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, April 24. She plans on giving comics to the children impacted and injured during the blasts on Marathon Monday, and also distributing the comic books to other wards at the hospital. “In the very least, I’d like to distract the traumatized, the children, the people whose lives are going to be changed forever,” says Cowan.

After the bombing, Boston Children’s Hospital treated 10 patients. Two pediatric patients remain in the hospital, according to officials, including a 7 year-old girl that is in critical condition and an 11 year-old boy who is listed in fair condition.

Hospital staff have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and generosity of people like Cowan, and those who made donations. “Individuals, families and organizations are reaching out to our hospital to ask how they can support not only the patients and families affected by this tragedy but staff as well. Toys have been delivered, food has been dropped off and calls asking how to help have not stopped since Tuesday morning,” says Beth Donegan Driscoll, director of Child Life Services at Boston Children’s Hospital.

James Bishai, a local clothing and watch designer, is also one of those individuals that stepped up in a time of tragedy to make a donation, to try and brighten the lives of the children that are cooped up in the hospital wards. Last week, just days after the bombing, Bishai donated 200 custom-designed watches that are part of his WatchOut! brand collection. The watches were shipped to Children’s Hospital in the days after the attack, and will be distributed to patients, including those still being treated for wounds sustained in the marathon bombing. “I decided to donate to the [hospital] in light of the recent events, and if I can provide a smile to someone’s face in need—even by looking at the bright colors of a watch—I am happy to do so,” says Bishai. “I will also be continuing to look into other charities, high schools, and other venues to distribute some of my inventory from last year.”

If others are looking to help the hospital, officials have set up a website where individuals can support the hospital’s efforts by donating to the Marathon Program or their Emergency and Trauma fund.