Atlanta artists volunteered their time and talent to put smiles on three children's faces—and their reactions are priceless!

By Rebecca Macatee
April 12, 2019
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Credit: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

April 12, 2019

Three lucky patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta got a special treat to lift their spirits: Their casts and prosthetics were personalized by professional artists with designs they chose themselves!

Local artists Catlanta, Yoyo Ferro, and Julio Ceballos volunteered their time and talent for this awesome initiative. Catlanta (whose real name is Rory Hawkins) personalized 9-year-old Nathan Manuel's cast with a Beyblade-inspired illustration; Ferro created a baseball design on 11-year-old Clayton Page's cast; and Ceballos painted sunflowers on 12-year-old Kennedy Simpson's prosthetic shins.

Credit: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

All three patients were blindfolded while the artists worked, so the end reveal was all the more spectacular. Little Nathan broke into a huge grin upon seeing the Beyblade character on his cast. "That looks epic," he exclaimed. "Oh my goodness."

Clayton was pretty pumped to see the sporty design on his cast, too. "It's amazing," he said with a grin. "It's so cool. Oh my gosh, I love it."

Credit: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

And Kennedy, who even provided an outline for the flowers she wanted Ceballos to paint, was thrilled with how the design turned out. "Oh, cool," she said, looking down at her prosthetic shins in awe. "It's so realistic...Thank you."

Ceballos was glad that Kennedy liked his artwork, and he was grateful for the opportunity to make her smile. "I didn't know what challenges these kids were facing," he said, "but I felt that whatever it was I wanted to learn from them and bring them some joy. Opportunities like this are up my alley because they're very fulfilling and I find that just as valuable as a paycheck."

Credit: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

It was also a valuable experience for the kids—and their parents were appreciative. Nathan's dad, Kareem Manuel, said his son fracturing his wrist on the monkey bars had been rough, but the cool Beyblade design on his cast almost made it worth the pain.

"Normally waking him up is such a drag, but he got up so fast on his first day back to school because he couldn't wait to show off his cast," said Kareem. "Rory crushed it."