Gold Medal Givers surprise patients with toys

By Jade Cunningham |

Published 06/16 2014 05:41AM

Updated 06/17 2014 10:24AM

Sometimes it's the small things that can make a huge difference.

Here's NBC 6 News, we like to honor those who dedicate their time as volunteers.

This week's Gold Medal Givers are two doctors at LSU Health Sciences Center who do something very special for their patients.

Going to the doctor is never fun, but there are two who make sure their patients leave with a smile.

"Dr. Kiel and Dr. Jackson are very compassionate, caring physicians," said Debbie Bell. "They love kids and they do everything they can to take care of them."

Both are Pediatric Cardiologists.

"We primarily see children in outpatient clinic with heart problems like murmurs, birth defects, chest pain," said Dr. Robert Jackson.

Their patients are nervous.

"The kids come in, a lot are apprehensive and they're scared," said Bell. "They've been through more than most adults, and have had multiple surgeries."

So Dr. Kiel and Dr. Jackson give all patients toys, to help make their fears go away.

"Going to the doctor is a difficult thing to begin with," said Dr. Ernest Kiel. "So if we can make their visit more comforting that's what we're trying to do."

In ten years, more than 10,000 toys have been handed out (between both doctors).

"I have parents who tell me their children's beds are covered with stuffed toys that they've had from their annual visits," said Dr. Jackson.

"They do this all at their own expense, there's no fund," said Bell. "Not a lot of physicians do that."

It's a small gift, with lasting memories.

"I enjoy doing it," said Dr. Kiel. "I like seeing the kids get real excited."

"You get in this work because you enjoy helping children," said Dr. Jackson. "To make it a good experience for the child, I think is very rewarding for us individually."

Which is why this week's Gold Medal Givers are Dr. Ernest Kiel and Dr. Robert Jackson.

Both doctors do all the shopping themselves and go to places like Target and Walmart.

It's a win-win for all, because while the patients are happy, they're also distracted which allows the physicians to do a thorough exam.

If you know of someone who should be nominated as a Gold Medal Giver, you can send an e-mail to NBC 6's Jade Cunningham at 

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