LOS ANGELES - They say the best things come in small packages, but in little 2-year-old Hazel Hammersley’s case, they come in the form of at least 20 pizzas surprising you in your hospital room when you wake up from a nap.
Hazel, who has been in the oncology department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since July 4, was diagnosed with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma in April, and has been in the hospital fighting to regain her white blood cell count in order to be released.
“We generally have a pretty good time here,” Hazel’s mother, Lauren Hammersley, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “They have the playroom here on the floor, which she loves, and I bring bags of toys and things. But after some time, you get a little stir crazy.”
So one day, while Hazel’s grandmother was visiting, they came up with the idea to tape a silly message in the window of her hospital room, something her grandma had done years ago when she was admitted in the hospital.
The family jokingly taped the message, “SEND PIZZA RM 4112,” onto the window by Hazel’s bed, not really expecting anything to come from it.
“Hazel was trying to wave to people in the street and nobody waved back, so we thought this was a fun way to just pass the time,” Hammersley said. “We thought it would be fun and put a smile on someone’s face. We never expected to get any pizza.”
And for a few days, they didn’t get any pizza.
But on July 13, several days after they posted the silly note, a passerby happened to see the message in the window, snap a photo of it and post it to Reddit. Users of the social media site quickly caught on, flooding Hazel’s room with pizzas, well wishes and hopes for her speedy recovery.
“It’s incredible, the outpouring of support we’ve received. It’s just so humbling,” said Hammersley. “The last time I spoke to the security guards, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, more than 20 pizzas had been delivered. They started just distributing them to the nursing staff and all the other kids on the floor.”
Once she was awoken from her nap by the smells of sizzling cheese pizza, Hazel had a huge pizza party in her room with all the other children she’s befriended during her stay.
“I keep saying God has been so faithful to provide us a lot of help, and it’s these moments that present us with a lot of hope,” Hammersley said. “It brings so much joy to my daughter, and to be able to give back to the nurses who have been so incredible to her. We’ve just been so touched by everything.”
Hammersley is unsure how long Hazel will need to remain in the hospital, but said thanks for all the excitement she’s had recently.
“At the moment,” Hammersley said, “she’s doing really well.”