Health Check: ‘Layla’s Dream’ shares joy with patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital

In honor of Layla Charette, a 5-year-old girl from Cumberland who died suddenly, her family created “Layla’s Dream,” a fundraiser that provides gifts to patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. (WJAR)

Some of Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s sickest patients received a special delivery Thursday.

It’s all compliments of Layla’s Dream.

Layla Charette, a 5-year-old girl from Cumberland, was the niece of NBC 10 Sports Reporter, Joe Kayata, and his wife, Meghan Kayata, who is the and 6 p.m. producer for NBC 10 News.

April 13, 2017 would have been Layla sixth birthday.

"Layla was amazing,” said Layla’s father, B.J. Charette. “She was the most kind, loving, caring little girl."

"She had quite the personality," said Alaina Charette, Layla’s mother.

But on Feb. 10, Layla caught a virus.

"It was just a regular sort of cold kind of bug that was going around," Alaina said.

But it progressed rapidly.

"That night, she started acting very different -- talking very weird. Just not herself," she said.

So, Layla was taken to Hasbro Children's Hospital.

"She was brought in to the emergency room in severe shock," said Dr. Lee Polikoff, an intensive care specialist at Hasbro.

Then, bad turned to worse.

"Her lungs were leaking fluid and air at the same time," said Alaina.

That caused her heart to stop. They were able to bring her back, but she was brain dead.

"It's exceedingly rare," Polikoff said. "Layla is the unfortunate combination of a perfect storm of having an immune system that was suppressed a bit by this virus and then overwhelming very, very potent powerful dangerous infection that ultimately she succumbed to."

That’s how Layla's Dream came to be.

Her family wanted to turn a bad dream into something good for others.

Joe came up with the name and Layla’s parents are running with it.

"It's going to help a lot of children," B.J. said. "It's going to help them get through their time while they're here."

A GoFundMe for Layla's Dream, and fundraisers in their home community of Cumberland, have brought in more than $40,000. A portion of the fund will go toward toys -- and lots of them.

They spent part of the day distributing those toys.

But there’s more.

"All of us, when we left here our noses were like torn up," said Joe.

So, Meghan approached CVS for a tissue with aloe vera.

"CVS has been great and they're donating 1,000 boxes of their good tissues to the ICU,” she said.

While Joe said it still feels like a bad dream, the family wants to honor Layla, a young girl who always wanted to buy presents for everybody.

And now she is -- for some very sick young patients.

"I think she'd be proud,” said Meghan, with Joe adding, “I think she's smiling on us today."

Beyond the toys and tissues, the family wants to be able to offer meal, gas and parking passes for families in the ICU at Hasbro, as well as more, going forward.

Click here to learn more about Layla's Dream.

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