BUFFALO, NY- The new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital opens on Friday and will mark the beginning of a new era of care for children and their families. It's also a day that a chapter closes. Babies were born, lives were lost and memories were made at the old Women and Children's Hospital on Bryant Street. Two On Your Side's Melissa Holmes spoke with a teen from Hamburg, a longtime patient, who took some time recently to say goodbye.
Mary Teresa Comerate, a 14-year-old Frontier High School freshman, has spent most of her childhood in and out of WCHOB. And now Mary Teresa and her mother Tammy are getting a final glimpse before it closes its doors for good.
She says she knows every inch of the hospital, and a mural of a waterfall on the 10th floor might be her most favorite spot and something she'll miss the most.
"I like all the flowers. I always like it because it looks like a place that would be magical and would be fun to go to and explore," said Mary Teresa.
She has an aggressive form of Crohn's Disease with symptoms that started in kindergarten. There were many ups and downs over the last 10 years.
"It was life threatening. She was down to 62 lbs. Her organs started shutting down. We didn't know what was going on," said Tammy.
And as a result many birthdays, Thanksgivings, and Christmases were spent at WCHOB, and the staff did their best to make it feel like home.
"I will miss it because there's so many memories here and everything," said Mary Teresa.
But she won't miss the age of the building and the older amenities breaking down. She's confident those problems won't exist at the state-of-art Oishei Children's Hospital.
"The private rooms are going to be a whole new experience. All the new equipment that, from what I've heard, is maybe even going to be able to diagnosis things earlier," said Tammy
It's out with the old and in with the new. And Mary Teresa left her final mark a hospital room white board and said goodbye for all the children and families whose lives were touched inside the old hospital.