Cubs’ Chris Coghlan brightens kids’ day at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn
By STEVE Metsch firstname.lastname@example.org July 29, 2014 10:00PM
Chicago Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan visits with a patient at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. | Steve Metsch/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 31, 2014 6:38AM
After he visited Tuesday with sick children at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Chicago Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan said he felt like the day may have meant more to him than the kids.
“We have a tendency to complain and think we don’t have it good. When you see the kids, your heart breaks for them because of their innocence and what they’re going through,” Coghlan said. “And it gives you encouragement because you watch a kid who is so young to have that much courage to fight for their life. Originally, you come because you want to give back, but you take away probably more than they take away (from this visit).”
Coghlan, 29, met with about 10 children with various medical problems, ranging from cancer to injuries that are not life-threatening but serious enough to require hospitalization.
The kids were thrilled to see a real big leaguer. Coghlan wore his white home jersey with the blue pinstripes and distinctive Cubs logo.
“Every time you come to a hospital, you think of what more you can do. It’s humbling and gives you great perspective. It would help anybody regardless of their profession because it gives you perspective of how good we really have it,” Coghlan said.
Beau Morgan, 7, of Steger, was at the hospital because he injured his pancreas in a bicycle accident. He’s getting better, mom Kirsten St. Pierre said.
“How old are you? Seven? That’s real close to my number, eight,” Coghlan told the tight-lipped youngster before handing him a Cubs cap, an autographed photo and a Jack Brickhouse bobblehead doll.
Three-year-old Aiden Bowden, of Mokena, stopped eating and drinking after having his tonsils removed, mother Colleeen Bowden said. But a small smile crept over his face when Coghlan handed him a Cubs cap.
Will Morrey, 7, of Tinley Park, was beaming when Coghlan walked into his hospital room. Will suffered burns to his right shoulder and back when he fell on a treadmill, his father, Dave, said.
“You look pretty tough,” Coghlan told the boy who had a heavy bandage on his shoulder.
When told that the boy’s pitching shoulder was hurt, Coghlan noted that Will “has all year to get better.”
Will was glad he had brought his teddy bear, which is named Lucky and happens to wear a Cubs shirt.
Moments later, Ben Morrey, 8, was nearly speechless when he walked in and saw “an actual Cubs player” chatting with his younger brother. Ben also got an autographed photo, as did brother Jack, 11, who’s away at band camp.
Coghlan talked Chicago sports for several moments with Ryan Przybylski, 9, who was in for treatment of diabetes. Ryan likes the Bears and played for the Dodgers in youth baseball in Tinley Park.
“My first year we didn’t win a lot of games,” he said, “but it was a fun year.”
The same, of course, could be said for Coghlan.
He is in his first year with the Cubs, who are again struggling with one of the worst records in the majors as their rebuilding program continues.
Coghlan, however, has played in 67 games, is batting a respectable .268 and has five homers, his second-best total in his six-year major league career. And he has not given up hope for the team’s future.
“We are so young, and you have to learn how to win games. Obviously, we’ve lost more than we’ve won, so that’s not where we want to be,” he said. “But I think there’s a growth period we have to go through, and we’re going through right now.”
“Hopefully, through the course of the year we’ll get better,” Coghlan said. “As players, all you can do is focus on each day because we’re not promised tomorrow.”