Melissa Sexton, CCLS, CMT

Child Life Special Events Coordinator, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, Indianapolis, IN

Kids in the hospital are going through a difficult time, and it’s Melissa’s job to give them memorable experiences.

Part of the thrill of being a child life specialist is that no two days are the same. Melissa Sexton organizes game days, plans holiday parties, and coordinates visits from celebrities like Garth Brooks and Indianapolis Colts players.

Melissa always knew from a young age that she wanted to help people. Though she initially aspired to be a pediatrician, she soon learned that she was more interested in people than in science, which led her down her current career path.

Though meeting celebrities is exciting, Melissa is more motivated by the patients and the families she helps, and works hard to give them memorable experiences. One little girl with cancer was an only child, and was often by herself during the day. During the girl’s treatment, Melissa would play with her, do arts and crafts, and talk about her hopes and dreams for the future. Near the end of her treatment, Melissa received a note from the girl that said, “Thank you for being just like the sister I always wanted.”

This moment taught Melissa how important it is to be a good listener and to advocate for patients, and also demonstrates why Raymond B. nominated her as a Hospital Hero.

“Melissa loves and cares for each patient she comes in contact with, as if that child were her own flesh and blood.”

Raymond B.

Melissa says, “These kids and their families are going through so much, and I get the amazing job of providing an interaction or a party that makes their day. It’s a tremendous honor to be nominated as a Hospital Hero, and I realize I am blessed to get to love my job every single day.”

Thank you, Melissa, for making young patients and their families more comfortable in the hospital, and ensuring they have fun!