Children's Hospital volunteer Donna Mattson helps make hospital stays better

Posted at 10:04 AM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 12:04:21-04
Hospital visits can be stressful and that is why 7Everyday Hero Donna Mattson is so vital. She gives her time at Children's Hospital Colorado.
"We perform miracles everyday here," said Mattson. 
She would know. Long before she started volunteering at the Aurora hospital, she got some troubling medical news about her granddaughter, Kaela. 
"All of a sudden we were told one day that she had a brain tumor," said Mattson. 
"It was my first year of high school.  I was a freshman," added Kaela Nekouie, Mattson's granddaughter. 
"Well, it turned us upside down, and we came to Children's, and they saved her life," exclaimed Mattson. 
Soon after Kaela's recovery, she started volunteering at Children's in Aurora. She works at the hospital now. 
That prompted Mattson to volunteer, too. For the last ten years she has given her time as a volunteer greeter. 
"One of the only regrets I have in life is that I didn't start sooner," said Mattson. 
Donna and Kaela get to spend time together each week now. They both help others while maintaining a special bond. 
"She raised me since I was nine months old, so she's not only my grandmother, but my mom and my best friend," said Nekouie. 
"Kaela found this bracelet in our gift shop.  It was plated silver and I have never taken it off since she gave it to me. But on this side it says mom and on this side it says wow. And she doesn't introduce me as grandma, she introduces me as mom," said Mattson. 
So, the next time you are at Children's Hospital Colorado, look for Donna Mattson at the front door, smiling and greeting new patients and families.
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.