Iowa football fans give a special wave to children's hospital patients and families

Children who are patients at an Iowa hospital and their families enjoyed a special perch for viewing the home-season opening football game at the University of Iowa.

They also got something more -- a tribute from the thousands of fans at the Hawkeyes game in Iowa City.

Patients and families at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital watched the game Saturday from the hospital roof overlooking the stadium.

At the end of the first quarter, the kids looked down into the stadium to see the massive crowd of Hawkeyes' fans waving up at them.

A Facebook post on a student-run University of Iowa football fan page came up with the idea to have everyone in attendance show some love to the children's hospital that sits directly next to the stadium, Ashley Meyer, a child-life assistant at the hospital, told ABC News.

Although it was planned and everyone knew it was happening, "It was kind of overwhelming," Meyer said of the special moment.

"It seemed like such a simple little thing, it's just a wave, but it meant so much to the kids and families that so many people were thinking of them. In that moment they forgot about the game and you saw such a close connection for the kids with something outside the hospital," she said.

The hospital was intentionally designed with a 12th-floor rooftop "press box" area where patients and family members could have a special place to watch the games in Kinnick Stadium and get a view of the city. The Hawkeyes won Saturday's game against the University of Wyoming Cowboys 24 to 3.

"From our end, we planned our little tailgates for all the home games, inviting our patients and their families to view the game from our press box area and have treats and games and make it fun before the big moment" on Saturday, Meyer said.

About 15 patients and nearly 90 family members filtered through the game-day festivities complete with some of the school's cheerleaders, other games and of course the wave.

"To see that was really awesome," Meyer said.

© 2018 ABC News


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