Bella Villamil. Photo by Donn Jones.

Lights shine bright to show support for patients and staff

Published on March 17th, 2022 by Christina Echegaray.

Bella Villamil. Photo by Donn Jones.

Bella Villamil, 5, waved a small red flashlight across the ceiling of her hospital room at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She playfully flickered the light in unison with Child Life assistant Mikayla Taylor.

They were practicing for Children’s Hospital’s growing yearly tradition: the third annual Night Lights for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, which occurred Nov. 9, 2021.

On that night, Nashville and surrounding Midstate communities and businesses illuminated buildings and structures in Children’s Hospital’s primary colors to say a special “good night” to patients and families and to show gratitude to the health care teams who care for so many children. To celebrate the evening, staff across Children’s Hospital wore Night Lights T-shirts.

The night also included a special virtual program that broadcast directly to patients’ rooms. Online coverage via Children’s Hospital and NewsChannel 5 social media channels allowed staff, the community and children and families to participate from home. The NewsChannel 5 helicopter captured live aerial footage of Nashville’s lighted structures.

Virtual programming for patients and staff also included a private performance by popular singer/songwriter Walker Hayes. Hayes became a sensation after a TikTok video to his hit song “Fancy Like,” featuring him dancing with his daughter, went viral. Many Children’s Hospital employees filmed their own “Fancy Like” dance moves for the ultimate video mashup, which Hayes shared on his Instagram account.

Some of Nashville’s most iconic structures and businesses were lit in the Children’s Hospital primary colors as a display of support. As part of an expanded celebration, several communities across Middle Tennessee also joined in to illuminate their city and county structures and offer social media shout-outs for the evening.

“In a year-plus of unprecedented challenges, our third annual Night Lights shined a bright light on our communities’ caring spirit and continued commitment to provide hope and healing for all the children and families who come to us for their health care needs. I am incredibly grateful to all our Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities, partners and businesses who made the third annual Night Lights possible and helped brighten an evening for children and our staff,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, President of Children’s Hospital.

“I am in awe of the growing number of iconic Nashville buildings and structures that are lighting up in the Children’s Hospital primary colors for this special ‘good night’ to patients,” Rush said.