How a San Antonio man transformed the walls of a hospital for pediatric patients

SAN ANTONIO – Visitors to the Children’s Hospital in Downtown San Antonio may have noticed some colorful changes on the walls.

For the past year, Dispatch Technician Anthony De Leon, Sr. has used his free time to paint murals at the hospital.

De Leon has worked at the hospital since 1996, but recently started painting the walls to cheer up pediatric patients who might be having a tough day.

“It changes the whole aspect of coming to see the doctor. It keeps kids’ minds at ease,” De Leon said.

From safaris to underwater adventures, De Leon has painted everything from pandas to whales to sea turtles, but his favorite is that of a giraffe.

“It’s just basically the giraffe head. So as you walk into the X-ray room, he peeks around the corner,” De Leon said.

De Leon painted 16 murals and each floor has a different theme. De Leon said each could take up to a week.

“We want children to be amazed when they see this work of art. It’s just about coming up with something that kids are going to love and enjoy,” De Leon said.

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De Leon began painting at an early age and this experience reignited his passion. He said the support of his family, colleagues and patients inspired him to continue his work to have a positive impact on children and their families.

“I hold them dearly in my heart, allowing me to start and bring it all to life. It was in there. You just had to get it out for the kids,” De Leon said.

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