Dr. Magic: Bringing magic and medicine to sick children
Bridging magic and medicine - one smile at a time - that's the goal of a soon-to-be doctor at Stony Brook Children's Hospital whose medical bag includes a bag of tricks.
For kids, a hospital stay can be scary. But at Stony Brook Children's Hospital a magic wand is making it better.
David Elkin is a magician and medical student at Stony Brook University. He believes magic helps heal.
"Magic makes the impossible, possible, so I think it does the same with their illnesses," says Elkin.
He says magic therapy eases stress and anxiety.
"At first they may be a little reluctant because they are sick and they don't want anyone to intrude, but once I do the first magic trick everything changes and they absolutely love it. I see their faces light up," Elkin says.
In addition to sharing his love of magic with kids, Elkin also shares some of his secrets with nurses and doctors so they can make some fears disappear.
He founded MagicAid, which trains health professionals on how to use magic to connect with patients.
Elkin says one child will stand out forever - a little boy who was dying of brain cancer.
"His mom called me and said 'he's been talking about you, he says where's Dr. Magic? I want more magic.' So I ended up going for the next month and a half until unfortunately he passed away. They said I extended his life. I hope that's true - it felt really special," says Elkin.