ATLANTA - Children's Healthcare of Atlanta wanted to bring the magic of the season to their sick children and families, so they created a winter wonderland of snow at all three of its hospitals -- all at the same time.
It was a tightly held secret: Only a handful of employees knew that the surprise event would happen.
At dusk on Dec. 2, it began to snow -- and snow for an hour outside the hospital rooms where children were getting treated for cancer, waiting for heart transplants and in the intensive care unit.
"What more magical and childlike than snow -- especially in Atlanta?" asked a spokeswoman from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
It was a balmy 57-degree day, so dozens of these children, many in wheelchairs, hooked up to IVs and wearing surgical masks ventured out to just feel the white stuff.
Those who were confined to their hospital beds watched it from their windows.
"It all started out as a desire to do something big for our patients," said the spokeswoman. "It's such a special time of year and kids in the hospital don't get to celebrate."
Only a small group knew the skies would start snowing, mostly the security team.