When some people enter the room, it’s like someone opened a window and flooded the space with sunshine.
Tony Adkins is a physician assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California, and he’s definitely the kind of person who brings the sunshine wherever he goes. Tony grew up the child of a single mom in a poor neighborhood. He says he often used humor and music to ease the growing pains he felt as a youth, and the habit simply stuck with him as he grew into adulthood.
Now that Tony works with children in the neuroscience unit of the hospital, he channels his positivity into lifting the spirits of his young patients through music. His habit of putting on a catchy song and dancing in the exam room to make his patients smile has earned him a nickname: the Dancing Doc.
He’s become so popular at work, patients ask for him by name and request their favorite songs the minute he enters the room.
“They ask us for the Dancing Doc,” said Trisha Stockton, a neuroscience unit nurse who works with Tony. “Tony lightens up every room he walks into. A kid that hasn’t smiled in days, smiles.”
Trisha explained that the patients Tony treats are going through serious medical problems that would get anybody down in the dumps, but something magical happens when the Dancing Doc shows up. Kids that have been feeling sorry for themselves see him and can’t help but grin at his goofy, fun-loving attitude.
“What Tony is dealing with every day is the saddest news,” Trisha said. “He’s able to turn that around and make it into something so beautiful and positive.”
Ever since Tony and the hospital began uploading videos of his cheerful bedside antics, he’s become a viral celebrity who gets recognized all over.
“I feel like a celebrity,” he said, but he isn’t dancing for fame or notoriety. He’s simply dancing because he hopes to make his patients, “feel like kids again.”
When Tony is recognized for his important work with children, he remains humble and dedicated to what truly matters: helping kids.
“I can’t explain how much this means to me,” he wrote on Facebook. “My family and I have been through so much, but yet we push forward. Laughter and having fun with my little buddies is one of the best dose[s] of medicine ever.”
“Being in neurosurgery we see some of the worst things that can possible take place for a kid. I have been blessed with a sound mind and heart to uplift these little kids. Each one of them gets a special treatment from me all the time. They are my inspiration and my motivation to be the best provider I can be.”
Well done, Tony! Thank you for making these kids smile in the midst of so much pain and uncertainty.
Check out the Dancing Doc and some of the hospital’s nurses getting down to “Fame” in the video below, and be sure to share.
I am always down for a good time. MRI stretch Fame 80s style… Feeling so amazing in my new Jaanuu scrubs. **Special Thanks To @jaanuubydrneela for providing me these scrubs. It is truly an honor** #neurosurgery #picu #icu #physicianassistant #emergencyroom #ambulance #patientadvocate #pa #doctor #hydrocephalus #ed #er #cancer #chiari #nurse #jaanuuscrubs #nicu #instagood #happy #children #bowtie #tedbaker
Posted by Tony Adkins on Wednesday, August 29, 2018