Children's Hospital moves to Streeterville - FOX 32 News Chicago

Children's Hospital moves to Streeterville

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was shortly after sunrise this morning, when five- month-old Emiliano Vazquez was loaded into an ambulance at Children's Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park for the three-mile trip downtown to the new Ann and Robert Lurie Children's Hospital.

Emiliano has a muscular disorder. He was the first of 130 patients transported today by 25 ambulances. One of the youngest was a child, just nine days old, transported in a portable incubator.

Maureen Mahoney, the chief of transition planning, said the move went fine. " We've been planning for this for four years, and we have not had really any surprises today," Mahoney said.

Eighteen year old Elizabeth Casas made the most of her last night at the old Children's Memorial Hospital. "They decided, the staff and stuff, to throw me a prom," she said.

The 18-year-old Casas is recovering from heart surgery, and was missing the Willowbrook High School Prom last night, until her friends and hospital staff arranged for prom night in her hospital room.

As for the "morning after" her prom, Elizabeth said her move today was a breeze. She added that her new room, with a view of the Trump Tower and a large screen TV which knows her name, is pretty nice.

"This TV, I was like, "wow," it has internet and everything, a little too much for me, "Casas said.

Her Aunt, Marie Conquest, said, "The old hospital and nurses were wonderful, but this is beautiful, this is a beautiful facility."

The former Children's Memorial, which closed its doors tonight, could handle 218 patients. The new hospital can handle 70 more than that, all of them in private rooms.

Elyana Ramirez is the mother of four year old Diego Gonzalez, who was moved early this morning.

"You don't have to share a room with another patient," Ramirez said, "and you have your own privacy, and the lighting, is, I really like the view, it is very nice."

Ramirez's son has a genetic disorder. She brought him to the old Children's Memorial last night, after he suffered a seizure. She had forgotten that June 9th was moving day, but at 6:45 am today, was ready for the ride downtown.

"I went on the ambulance with him." she said. "He slept through it, like he's sleeping now."

Children's Memorial had been in Lincoln Park for 130 years. The property there will now be used by DePaul University and developed into retail shops and housing.

CEO Patrick Magoon says the new $855 million dollar downtown hospital should serve Chicago's children for the next 100 years.

Elizabeth Casas seems to agree. "The old hospital had a lot of memories there, but I'm glad we're stepping up and changing. It's good, change," she said.

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