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SickKids patient wishes you a happy International Women’s Day
3 minute read

SickKids patient wishes you a happy International Women’s Day


Meet Harper. She had a heart transplant and spent a year at SickKids, where she made some special connections.

Child sits in front of a plant.

Harper's story

Last summer, Harper had a heart transplant. She spent more than a year at SickKids. During her stay, she formed some very special connections with the health-care professionals on her team.

Her days were filled with routine, so her team at SickKids set out to make her time at the hospital fun. They brought play to her days and celebrated milestones. She had a party, complete with birthday cake and singing, when she spent her birthday at the hospital.  

Harper’s stuffed animals and dolls were important members of her care team. If Harper was there, so was her entourage of toys. Her nurses knew this crew of toys needed to be included in all the fun.

One day, when Harper and her family stepped out for a walk, they came back to the hospital to find Harper’s toys playing soccer. It’s a memory Harper cherishes.

Registered Nurse Larissa Rinkoff smiles wearing a grey SickKids shirt that reads: Larissa, Cardiac Nurse, 4D Cardiology.
Larissa Rinkoff.

Meet Larissa

Larissa Rinkoff was one of Harper’s nurses on 4D. For Rinkoff, a big part of her role as a nurse is to find ways to make each day special and fun, and to bring them closer to normal.  “A normal childhood involves tons of play,” Rinkoff says.

For the soccer game, she handmade jerseys using supplies around the unit, such as construction paper and medical tape. She made sure to write the toys’ names on the backs of each of the jerseys. She built soccer nets out of burn netting, scrap cardboard and tongue depressors.

This moment represents just one example of how Rinkoff goes out of her way to make her patients smile.

International Women’s Day

In honour of International Women’s Day, Harper recognizes Rinkoff’s compassion and attention to detail. 

This day is important to Harper because it reminds her that she can be whatever she wants to be.

Rinkoff and her team at SickKids couldn’t agree more. “Harper is right, she can do anything! I know that because I know Harper is strong, kind, creative and curious — all very important ingredients for achieving anything she sets her mind to,” Rinkoff says. “I'm so excited to see where her journey takes her.”

Happy International Women’s Day to all the SickKids staff and caregivers who show our patients they can be whatever they want to be.

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