The mood at the Hollywood location was electric Sunday morning, as officials set off on the monumental task of moving more than 200 critically-ill patients to a new, massive hospital complex.
The Marion & John E. Anderson Pavilion offers nearly 40 percent more bed space, a larger state-of the-art trauma unit and specialized rooms dedicated solely to asthma and respiratory care. The patients were being rolled through two main paths on the first and second floors leading to the new building.
The operation was planned with military precision, with four teams assigned to transport all of the young patients. The whole move was expected to take approximately eight hours.
When the move began at 7 a.m., the first patient to cross the threshold was 10-year-old Manny Hernandez.
A crowd of nurses and doctors cheered as Manny was wheeled carefully into the new tower. The young patient suffers a rare disorder that causes him to be immune deficient. He stayed up all night in anticipation for the big move, but said he was excited and ready for the transition.
Manny's father helped build the new Anderson Pavilion, adding more meaning to this already significant day.
The nurses and doctors on Manny's floor were in tears Sunday and hugs were shared all around. Though they looked forward to moving into the new state-of-art facilities, the day was bittersweet. One nurse said she had been working in the building for 24 years and said the place felt like home to her.
Down at the Neo Intensive Care Unit, the mood was more intense than celebratory.
Nurses were moving all of the babies from the NICU, including a 21-day-old boy who had heart surgery 10 days ago. The process was a delicate one, but things went off without a glitch.
This isn't the first move for Children's Hospital L.A. The hospital moved down a block on Sunset in 1967. Dr. Carl Grushkin, who has been with the hospital for 44 years, characterized Sunday's move as much less chaotic, with no unexpected turns.