TOLEDO, Ohio — Superheroes have extraordinary abilities but there's no ability better than making a child smile.
Members of the Toledo Police SWAT Team dressed up in superhero costumes and rappelled the side of ProMedica Russell J. Ebeid Children's Hospital Thursday afternoon to remind patients to stay strong during difficult times.
It's an annual Halloween tradition for the hospital and police department.
The patients watched and waved at the Marvel and DC characters from a window inside the hospital.
Lee Turney of Toledo has a six-year-old daughter, Caylee, who's fighting cancer. A flu or cold can be deadly for her so she's unable to trick-or-treat. This experience was an exciting, safe alternative.
Her favorite superhero is Ironman.
"She's so happy when she sees them come down. It's just amazing they do this for the kids and make them happy at the time they need it the most," Turney said.
The superheroes themselves look forward to making the children happy every year. They're glad their villain, COVID-19, didn't defeat them.
"[The kids] usually are up against the glass and high-fiving and pounding on the glass. They also have signs for us. It's cool to see their reactions to us and what we're doing," said Sgt. Matt Slayman who dressed up as Wolverine.
Rappelling down buildings is part of the SWAT team's training so they weren't very nervous scaling down the hospital's eight-story building.
"Nervousness when you first go over the edge, but then you get over that and you just go. You just put that all out and you just remember that the kids will be smiling when you get down there," said John Winger, who dressed up as the Green Arrow.
After the rappelling, the superheroes visited the patients inside the hospital. The media wasn't allowed inside due to COVID-19 restrictions.