Like many children, Harry Burns loves watching Spiderman and Batman movies. But his family’s biggest superheroes are the 9-year-old’s physicians – Shannon Scott Vernaglia, MD, director of the MGHfC Pediatric Residency Program, David Ebb, MD, a pediatric oncologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Howard Weinstein, MD, chief of pediatric hematology and oncology and Peter Masiakos, MD, co-director of the MGH Center for Gun Violence Prevention and director of Pediatric Trauma Services.
“Harry has been fortunate enough to be cared for by the best,” says Bryan Burns, Harry’s father. “Each of our superheroes have their own special powers. Never will we overlook the heavy lifting the nurses, life specialists, and other supporting staff do every day, they have walked us through so much, and our boys just want them to know they are appreciated and thought of as family.”
To show their appreciation, the Burns family recently sent Masiakos a note of encouragement and pair of Marvel Comics Captain America socks. “While placing Harry’s chemotherapy port, Dr. Masiakos mentioned that his son asked him to rub the feet of his little patients as to make them feel better and not be afraid,” says Bryan. “The socks are a nod to his compassion.”
Understanding what it is like to be hospitalized, Harry and his siblings, Sammy and Benjamin, have also been giving back to the hospital by virtually reading to patients nightly in hopes the children will enjoy connecting with other kids. Visit the Brother Burns Reading Group.