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Olympia family goes to new heights with get-well message

Despite not being able to come up to her hospital room, an Olympia woman's family found a way to put a smile on her face.

OLYMPIA, Wash — A potential case of pneumonia meant a trip to the hospital instead of the Washington coast for Namaste Kanz this Fourth of July.

Kanz, who is battling breast cancer, tested negative for COVID-19 but policy at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia still meant she could not have visitors.

“It helps to have family there and you know, somebody to advocate for you and to just keep you company,” Kanz said.

She calls herself a “dinosaur” so a video call with family members was not an option for Kanz.

Her third-room floor didn’t have a clear view of the parking lot, so signs and waving from below would not work for her loved ones.

That's when her daughter came up with a creative way to send a get well message: helium balloons.

“I kind of floated the idea,” said a laughing Nayomi Kanz. “I was more joking because obviously that would take a really long string.”

Luckily her stepfather is a fisherman. 

He used one of his fishing lines to get the balloons to Kanz’s room level.

“I looked over and there are these two balloons rising and smiling at me,” Kanz said. “They brought a lot of cheer and happiness here.”

When the balloons dropped out of Kanz’s view after a couple of days, they got tangled up in a tree right outside the hospital’s critical care unit.

Kanz said other patients and hospital staff love looking at the balloons now.

“The nurse from the ICU told me they are having the greatest time from these dancing balloons,” Kanz said.

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