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Oklahoma hospital uses cars to make surgery less scary for children

OKLAHOMA CITY - Kids are rolling into an Oklahoma operating room in style.

"We had heard about remote-controlled cars that kids can ride in in the hospital, and we thought it was a fabulous idea,” said Child Life Specialist Lead Ashley Ochs.

The Mini Coopers are making a big impact, especially for 22-month-old Keaton, who has undergone several procedures in his young life.

"Pretty intense surgeries for him, so he's been through a lot," said Malisa Williams, Keaton’s mother. "So, now, when he comes to a hospital, he just really doesn't want to be here.”

It was a complete turnaround when he saw his ride show up before surgery.

"He was mad. He was upset, not having a good day, knew something was going on," Williams said. "But, they brought that little car up there and he just got happy, got in the car, drove him off for surgery and he never even cried."

It's a little thing that cheered him up and those around him.

"The family, patients, even adult patients that see him riding around are smiling," she said.

Each patient buckles up, and a nearby staff member controls it with a remote.

"So, that way, the kids feel like they have control driving the car but we're able to get them to the room they need to go to, so we're in control the whole time,” Ochs said.

Integris Baptist Medical Center started using the cars earlier this month. They said they're the first in the state to offer the new remote-controlled cars for children.

It's making the road to recovery a little easier for the tiny patients.

So far, they have three cars donated by the Delta Theta Chi sorority and hope to get more in the future.