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Makeover transforms hospital into oasis of calm for parents of sick children

Part of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston hospital has been transformed into a spa-like oasis this season, thanks to the effort of one special nonprofit.
/ Source: TODAY

When children get sick, parents can spend many hours and nights in a hospital’s cold, clinical-looking sleep rooms.

But at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston hospital, the annex has been transformed into a spa-like oasis this season, thanks to Sunshine on a Ranney Day, a nonprofit organization that renovates homes for children with special needs.

For founders Holly and Peter Ranney, it's been a labor of love.

“Peter and I discovered that this was our mission in life and our hope is that we can inspire other people to share their kindness,” Holly told TODAY as part of the the #ShareKindness campaign.

“Share kindness to me is using your God-given talent and skills that you have for the benefit of other people,” Peter added.

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A crowd gathered this month to see the grand reveal, which will mean more comfort for parents like Stacy Halstead, whose son Tripp stayed in the hospital for five months after suffering a severe brain injury. While at his daycare center in 2012, a tree limb fell on the little boy, crushing his head.

“It was just the most heartbreaking thing we've ever seen. They had him completely hooked up to all the monitors and all the tubes and he looked so small, he was only 2 years old,” Halstead said.

“The hospital became our home. We ate here, we bathed here and we slept here… you want to cry and break down, but can’t in front of your child. It's just not acceptable, you have to stay strong.”

The sleep rooms were the one place of respite for the Halsteads, but they still felt like they were at a hospital.

Seeing the transformation “just touches my heart,” Stacy said. “To think about families like us, that spent so many nights here.”

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Holly and Peter Ranney performed their first makeover in 2012. With her background in marketing and design and his background in construction, the couple uses their skills to help families at no cost. The hospital sleep room renovation was a project close to their hearts.

“Being able to give (parents) a space where they can come in and take an escape, even to put a pillow over their face and cry. If they can just be down the hall and feel like they've gone home or gone to a hotel, this is going to be so rewarding,” Holly said.

When Sunshine on a Ranney Day heard about Tripp Halstead's story a few years ago, it renovated his family’s home to make it completely handicap accessible. When it was done, hundreds of people came out for the big reveal.

“You don't think about the little things at home, like having a bathroom that we can bathe him in, and they provided all of that for us. Instead of looking around and seeing all of Tripp's limitations, we look around and we see all of the possibilities,” Stacy said.

Thousands of families like hers will benefit from the hospital sleep rooms makeover, she added.

“No one wants to be at the hospital. To have these rooms to just be able to escape is so important and it's just kind people like this that make the world a better place.”

This story is part of our #ShareKindness series. Help us grow the good this holiday season by sharing this story and other stories of kindness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.