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Community re-creates Halloween for toddler hospitalized during the holiday

An Oklahoma community came together to re-create Halloween for a 3-year-old girl who had missed out because of an unexpected illness.
/ Source: TODAY

It turned out to be a happy Halloween after all, when an Oklahoma community came together to re-create the holiday for a 3-year-old girl who had missed out on the festivities because of an unexpected illness.

Four days after her third birthday, Molly Turpen was admitted to the Children's Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa with a severe case of pneumonia.

Stephanie Straight

What the family thought would be a quick trip turned into a 28-day stay, with rapid testing and two surgeries. A chest tube was inserted during the first surgery to help drain the pneumonia infection. When complications emerged following the procedure, Molly was forced under yet again.

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The timing of her surgery caused Molly to miss Halloween — but as she laid in a state of sedation, the toddler had no idea the holiday had already come and gone.

Courtesy of Stephanie Straight

That's when the family's neighborhood really pitched in.

In a Facebook post on their community page, Molly's mother, Stephanie Straight, asked if anyone would be willing to have her trick-or-treat at their homes once she was released from the hospital. She was set to go home mid-November.

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In response to her post, Straight received countless messages from neighbors who were more than willing to help Molly celebrate the day.

"I was very thankful and surprised — pretty shocked because most of them didn’t even know her and they were still willing to take time out of their day to do that," she told

Courtesy of Stephanie Straight

Molly, whose personality Straight describes as "hilarious" and always "happy," was just thrilled to dress up as Rapunzel, her favorite character from "Tangled" — a movie that her mom says they watched "roughly 80,000 times" throughout their stay in the hospital.

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And despite celebrating the holiday late, Molly didn't seem to mind.

"I don’t know that she understood it wasn’t actually Halloween," said Straight. "I think she thought it was Halloween and her time to treat. She didn’t understand that people were doing it a month late for her."