Hospital Worker Helps Boys In Isolation Become Friends

Sometimes, kindness comes from places you might not expect.


Just ask Cohen Bramlee and Keagan Atkins, two young patients at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio. They both spent time in isolation in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the hospital, but that’s not all they have in common. They also share a profound love of LEGOs, something neither of them were aware of until a mutual “friend” brought it to their attention. 


The friend is Ki-Jana “KJ” Upshaw, a member of the hospital’s housekeeping team who changes the linens in the 82 patient rooms in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. When he would visit the boys’ rooms each day, he noticed that they both were always playing with LEGO kits. 

Here’s 7-year-old Cohen Bramlee with his treasured LEGOs.

Because the two boys were in isolation and couldn’t visit each other’s rooms, KJ made it a point over the next few months to share messages and communicate between the two, letting each other what they were working on.


“It was kind of like a daily report on what the other child was building, and so he kind of enjoyed getting to hear about what someone else had in common with him while he was here, and just getting to talk to KJ, because, you know, our world is pretty small right now,” Cohen’s mother Carrie Bramlee told the hospital.


The friendship between the boys grew, and on the day that Keagan (pictured below with his new buddy Cohen) was able to leave the hospital and go home, Cohen was well enough to wear a mask and finally meet his new friend face-to-face. He even gave Keagan a new LEGO set as a goodbye gift. 


The boys’ mothers have stayed in touch and are planning a LEGO play date once Cohen is home.

KJ (middle) poses with Carrie Bramlee (left) and a friend at a hospital awards ceremony honoring his act of kindness…

Inspired by KJ’s kind act? While you may not be able to help sick kids in hospitals, you can show kindness by simply paying attention to those around you and making connections. If your grandfather in a nursing home loves chess, you can challenge him to a game or ask him to teach you how to play. Does your neighbor with a sick child love to skateboard? Offer to join him at the skate park one day to take his mind off things. Let’s #StartSomethingGood together. 


(Source: images Super Cohen’s Crusade Facebook)

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