Los Angeles Angels infielder Gio Urshela and pitcher Chase Silseth visited patients and their families in person at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach to play games, give gifts, and raise spirits. During this special visit, the Angels also got the chance to play against patients in video game challenges.
“We are very excited to have the Angels at the hospital to brighten the days of our patients,” says Rita Goshert, director, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Our patients were super excited to hear the Angels were coming to visit, so their faces lit up when the players arrived at their doors.”
The players made their way around the four different units across the entire hospital surprising patients in the playrooms and at their bedsides. Urshela and Silseth spent time with patients and families, giving them autographed baseball hats, soft baseballs, plush Angels rally monkeys, and gift bags while talking with them, and helping the patients feel more comfortable.
“We are so blessed to have the opportunity to visit the patients and make a difference in their days and in their treatment,” said Angels infielder Gio Urshela. “Seeing the smiles on their faces while we visited their bedsides gave us such a great feeling.”
Derrick, an infusion patient, was extremely excited to see the players, as he challenged them to a video game. Urshela and Silseth sat down with Derrick to play MLB The Show and Madden and gave him gifts after their visit. Silseth also exchanged gamertags with Derrick so they could play together online.
"Derrick was so excited to get the chance to meet pro athletes, especially the Angels since he loves baseball," said Richard, Derrick's dad. "It's amazing that Miller Children's & Women's has set up this great opportunity for our kids to meet players like this."
During their visit, Urshela and Silseth played games of catch with patients, while encouraging and reassuring them on how strong they were while undergoing treatment.
“Visiting these patients was very inspiring to me,” said Angels pitcher Chase Silseth. “While we may encourage many patients during our visits, they’re really the ones inspiring us to work harder and not take anything for granted.”
The Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach coordinates special events to help make the hospital experience more positive for children. Child life specialists help patients and families cope with hospitalization in every area of the hospital from General Pediatrics to the Emergency Department.
MemorialCare is the Official Healthcare Partner of Angels Baseball, helping make this patient visit and future visits possible. MemorialCare has been partnering with Angels Baseball since 2019 to promote healthy lifestyles for Southern California fans.