It may seem like a simple, friendly gesture, but two ironworkers in Missouri are being credited for cheering up a 2-year-old cancer-stricken girl and her parents at a time they needed it most. This story shows that a little kind deed can have a significantly positive impact!
In 2015, St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri underwent a major construction project. The hospital was expanded in partnership with Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
While ironworkers Travis Barnes and Greg Combs were working at the construction site, it was common for them to catch sight of kids waving from the windows of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
But one special little girl, Vivian Keith, waving from the ninth floor of the hospital captured their attention the most.
“She was waving at us and making faces. She was sweet and made us smile,” Combs, a father of two, told ABC News.
And the two friendly ironworkers waved back. They never knew these waves had become a form of therapy for cancer-stricken Vivian.
Two-year-old Vivian spent most of her time in isolation at the hospital, undergoing chemotherapy since Feb. 19, 2015, due to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
“So the doors remain closed,” Vivian’s mother, Ginger Keith, told USA Today.
And the only way for her to catch a glimpse of the outside world was through the window.
So, every morning, without fail, Vivian was seen looking out of her window.
“Vivian likes to hang out in the window and play with her figurines. She likes to wave and we watch the crane,” Keith told TODAY.
One particular day in late July, as usual, young Vivian and her mother were gazing out the window. Then, something caught them off guard.
They saw Barnes and Combs waving at them like crazy, pointing to a metal beam.
On the metal beam was a message spray-painted in an awesome attempt to cheer up Vivian.
The message read, “Get well soon.”
“It was so sweet,” Keith said.
“It’s hard for [Vivian] to grasp the extent of it, but we know. And I know she’s not the only one they were waving at—a lot of kids play in the window. It just means so much.”
Keith couldn’t be more thankful for the sweet gesture.
“I took a bunch of pictures of it and sent them a box of pastries,” she said.
Speaking of his gesture, Combs said that “it was awesome. Just to see how something so little made her and her mom and dad so happy. That’s when it hits you.”
Shortly afterwards, the Keith family and the two ironworkers met up.
Though Vivian was shy, it was a wonderful meeting, and “an amazing day” for the little girl. Whereas meeting Vivian made Combs ponder how precious life is.
Fortunately, everything went well in the end.
On May 10, 2017, after 28 months of chemotherapy, the family posted a message on Facebook: “Vivian is in remission.”
We’re so glad Vivian is well.
Hopefully, this heartwarming story will inspire others to do more kind deeds to brighten up someone’s day!