FBI agents based in Jackson, members of the Citizens Academy, and FBI alumni combined with local law enforcement and SWAT team members for one special mission at Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.
“Our mission today is to help bring some fun, and a diversion to the kids here today,” said FBI Special Agent Christopher Freeze. “They deal with so much… it’s a nice distraction.”
Freeze said the benefits don’t just extend to the kids.
“I think emotionally, we get more out of it, and out of those supporting us all today,” said Freeze.
Robots, night vision goggles, tactical vehicles and SWAT gear were brought in for kids to to with, learn about, and take for a spin themselves.
One mother, Tamara Mills, said her daughter was ecstatic to see all the equipment.
“She’s just smiling, climbing in the vehicle and taking pictures, having a good time,” said Mills. Her daughter was at Batson for the second time in a month, this time for a sickle cell anemia crisis.
“Earlier she was crying said her arm hurt,” said Mills. “But this all takes her mind off of it.”
Ruth Thomas, with the Children’s Miracle Network, said all of the supporters of the days event made a contribution that would last beyond the short time the kids could be outside.
“They’ve made a donation of $2,600,” said Thomas. “While we do get money from the state, we couldn’t function without those philanthropic dollars.”
Ellie, just eight years old, busied herself with one of the robots, enjoying the fresh air momentarily before heading back inside to continue recovery from brain surgery.
Here’s what Ellie and her mother told News Mississippi about her life, and how the FBI event was a pick-me-up: