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2011: Magicians visit Pediatric Department at CDH
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Magicians visit Pediatric Department at CDH

WINFIELD, Ill., August 25, 2011 – Pediatric patients at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) have a new reason to smile. Every Tuesday, volunteer magicians from Open Heart Magic visit to provide them with a little wonder.

Magicians Michael Stevens, of Lake Barrington, and John Kurth, of Villa Park, visited CDH recently. Stevens and Kurth, both retired teachers, went room to room delighting children with card tricks, vanishing acts and other various playful illusions.

Ashley Galarza, 8, of Aurora, laughed as she watched a disappearing scarf appear behind her stepfather who was sitting across the room. The magicians also invite children to take part in the action. Before Galarza could learn how to perform a magic trick, she had to cite the Magicians’ Oath. “I promise not to tell my friends or the doctors and nurses how to do this trick.”

The children were not the only ones excited about the arrival of the magicians. Even the nurses were awestruck and stopped to take part in the action. Nurse Susan Vandemerkt, Glendale Heights, was surprised when she opened her hand. The two balls the magician gave Vandemerkt magically transformed into six. This not only released tension from a stressful day, but also served as a morale booster for the team.

Open Heart Magic is a not-for-profit organization serving six Chicago area hospitals. There are more than 30 volunteer magicians with all types of experience and backgrounds.

Each magician must pass an intense screening process and attend 12-weeks of magic training classes called Magic University. The volunteers have been trained to work with and engage patients with any medical situation, regardless of developmental, physical or linguistic restrictions. They must also make a one-year commitment to serving as a bedside magician after their training has ended.

Their magical performances not only encourage children to participate, but engage their imagination.  Stevens said, “The best part is seeing the children smile. This is an environment where kids have little control over their health situation and treatment. Magic gives them some sense of empowerment and confidence knowing all hope is not lost.”

For more information on Open Heart Magic, call 312-244-3774 or visit www.openheartmagic.org.

About Central DuPage Hospital
Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) is a nationally recognized 313-bed facility located in Winfield, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago. CDH is a leading center for medical technology, one of the busiest surgical hospitals in Illinois and has achieved Magnet® recognition for excellence in nursing services.

For the last five consecutive years, Thomson Reuters has listed CDH as a 100 Top Hospital in the U.S. CDH is affiliated with other healthcare leaders, including regionally known Children’s Memorial Hospital for pediatric care and nationally known Cleveland Clinic for cardiac surgery.

Central DuPage Hospital is an interdependent network of healthcare organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services, home health and hospice care. For more information or to find a doctor on the medical staff of CDH, visit www.cdh.org or call 630-933-4234/ TTY 630-933-4833 for the hearing impaired.

Christopher King
630-776-5373 (cell)