This 5-year-old might be battling cancer, but all he thought about for one afternoon was winning his Nerf gun war with two nurses at a Kentucky hospital.
Drew Esposito, 5, of LaGrange, faced off against nurses from the Norton Children’s Hospital in an ambush attack, but he and his dad were dressed up and ready to fight back.
“We were not prepared for him to be suited up in a superhero outfit with his dad helping him as well,” nurse Taylor Bergman told InsideEdition.com. “The costume was half-practical. Drew’s treatment requires him to be isolation, which requires us to wear gowns and masks quite often.”
She explained it started as an inside joke with Drew, who often pressed the medical call button to get their attention and surprised them by shooting them with Nerf guns as they entered the room.
While Nerf gun battles aren’t quite business as usual at the hospital, Bergman said it’s an important part of the care they provide to their younger patients.
“We don’t have Nerf battles every shift and hour, but while we’re providing medical care and tending to his needs, it’s important for this age and all children that we treat to keep developing them, and part of that is play,” Bergman said. “Anytime we can be superheroes and make a game out of taking medicine or achieving care goals is a really great day at work.”
Drew’s average childhood took a detour when he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a rare cancer that would require extensive chemotherapy and long hospital stays each time.
“It’s hard to understand what these kids go through,” Bergman said. “A lot of people have seen pain that loved ones have gone through in health care.”
Drew does a great job at keeping a positive attitude, however, and doesn’t let the diagnosis or treatment get him down.
“Little Drew is the light of any room that he walks into,” she said.
His dad, Jeremy Esposito, told InsideEdition.com Drew is now home and doing much better than he was during that hospital stint.
“Drew is great,” he said. “He’s heads and shoulders above where he was a few short weeks ago.”
To support families like Drew’s, visit the hospital’s website for ways to donate.