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Artwork by children at Ranken Jordan Hospital aids in healing process

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. - Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital bridges the gap between hospital and home. Kids recover through recreation therapy, including music, dance, and art.

"Art can be very healing for kids," said Shannon Murphy, a child life specialist. "It's a way for them to express themselves."

Art is the highlight of their day and these kids are not afraid of getting their hands dirty.

"Finger painting, we have done painting with wheelchairs if they can't use their hands or feet. It's always healing and a positive experience for them," Murphy said.

Murphy said art is part of the healing process.

"There's definitely many times, emotional expressions come out through art, the kids may not want to talk about it, but sometimes it comes out through art, that can start a conversation and help them cope," she said.

Therapists said art is a powerful thing. It allows the kids here to express themselves and their ideas without having to put them into words.

"You know that for that time being, whatever is on their minds, illness or recovery, is taking a backseat. The art is front and center, they are smiling and having fun, and feeling better about themselves," said Brett Moorehouse, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital president and CEO.

Moorehouse wants Ranken Jordan to feel more like home than a hospital.

"At Ranken Jordan, we have a care philosophy called Care Beyond the Bedside, kids spend up 70 percent of their waking hours out of their rooms, moving," he said.

This year Ranken Jordan is hosting its 15th annual Inspiration Gallery, where people in the community can buy art created by the kids. The money raised goes back into Care Beyond the Bedside.

"That money goes back to our department and gets put back into the kids for the activities and program they do here every day. It's a way for the kids to make the art, then show it off," Murphy said.

The Inspiration Gallery is Wednesday, November 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $65 each.

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