Community News

Nassau Police Officers Drop By For Holiday Cheer At Cohen Children’s

They weren’t wearing costumes, but they definitely are superheroes. The compassionate group of Nassau County Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit’s (ESU) elite rappelling team visited Cohen Children’s Medical Center on December 9 to entertain the children taking it all in from their hospital rooms.

The effort, known as “Operation Holiday Cheer,” succeeded in its mission of spreading hope and happiness to children unable to spend time with their friends and families at this time. Decked out holiday hats, the team made the 40-foot drop from the hospital’s rooftop, stopping to wave and “high-five” the excited children watching inside.

Among this year’s group was Sgt. Rick Bruno, 38, of Levittown, LI, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2011. But Sgt. Bruno’s courage was tested even before that when, on New Year’s Eve 2002, he suffered a seizure. Subsequent tests revealed the presence of a brain tumor; he was operated on less than 48 hours after arriving at Cohen Children’s.

“Just to be able to see the smiles on their faces makes this day so meaningful for us,” said Sgt. Bruno. “I know from personal experience what it’s like to be in the hospital at this time of year. This is such an important day for us.”

Erin Donohue, director of hospital operations for Cohen Children’s, agreed that December was a particularly difficult time for children and their families who find themselves in the hospital.

“This isn’t the place families choose to be during the holiday season,’ she said. “which is why an experience such as this is so meaningful to all of us.”

Related Posts