Kitchener girl picks her aunt, a nurse, for school hero project

Five-year-old highlights her aunt, a nurse, in school community hero project. 1:04

When five-year-old Tatum McCall was asked to do a school project on a community hero, she knew instantly who she would profile: her aunt Sam Mason, a nurse at Grand River Hospital.

“Because she saves people from COVID … she takes care of everybody,” McCall excitedly shared with CBC News.

With the help of her family, McCall built a cardboard replica of the hospital with detailed signs, windows and door cutouts.

It’s nice to see through a five-year-old’s eyes that I’m a little bit more than just a nurse.– Sam Mason, Grand River Hospital nurse

McCall explained the project in a video that was shared with her aunt and later published on the hospital’s social media pages. It was shared widely.

“It made me happy in my heart,” said McCall, who’s now invested in health-care work and talks about becoming a nurse in the future.

Community reaction

Mason, who works on a medicine floor, said she was flattered when she found out about the project because she never thought of herself as a hero.

“It was so cute. [Tatum] is always so thoughtful, so I wasn’t surprised she did something like that but I was pretty flattered,” said Mason. “I didn’t think of myself as [a hero] because you know, I’m going to work and I’m doing my job just like everybody else so it’s nice to see through a five-year-old’s eyes that I’m a little bit more than just a nurse.”

“It was nice to see something positive,” she said.

McCall’s mom, Beccy, said her children learned more about the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of health-care workers through Mason, who can’t visit as often anymore.

“It’s been really hard not seeing her as often as we usually do so she’s had to explain to them about her role in the hospital and what she does and why she can’t see them to keep them safe. So, my girls have had an inside look on the other side and what the nurses are going through and dealing with,” she said.

She said the community response to the project has been a bright spot amid challenging times.

“At a time where there’s so much division with what’s going on. At the end of the day, just to see a sweet little girl, proud of her aunt whose fighting the fight just took away all borders of people and it just brought you back to what’s important right now,” she said.

Tatum’s mom said the family is proud of the young girl who now has big dreams.

“She wants to fix people and help people like her aunty.”

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