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Rocky Vista students start school tradition with Christmas visits to babies in Billings hospitals

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Posted at 10:33 PM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-15 11:52:39-05

BILLINGS - The first class at Rocky Vista University brought some Christmas cheer to families in the St. Vincent Pediatric ward on Thursday afternoon.

The Osteopathic medicine students gave presents to babies.

Some families may have to stay in the hospital for Christmas, so this day is that much more special.

For hospital staff and families, it's a very welcome surprise.

"Some special people came and cared enough to give her her first Christmas present," said Maddie Kendrick about what she will one day tell her daughter Maven.

"She just couldn't wait to get here," said Seth Kendrick.

"Kind of shocking," said Jessica Payne about her newborn son Remington.

"That's good to know that there's people out there that care," said Dorrance Steele, Remington's father.

"Not an easy time for families," said Marissa Dutton, St. Vincent registered nurse in the pediatric ward. "So anything to make this time here at the hospital, any better for them is very great."

And for the students, they get to start a Christmas tradition.

"Always great to be the first class to be able to pave the way for future classes," said Jonathan Rowles, a Rocky Vista student. "It's a little bit daunting, but to be able to be part of those early traditions."

The students also visited and delivered gifts to the pediatric department at Billings Clinic.