Swinerton Project Team Plays Real-Life ‘Where’s Waldo?‘ with Children’s Hospital

How one act of kindness at a construction jobsite created a ripple effect.

Last fall Swinerton’s project team at UCHealth AOP Parking Garage learned that one of their partners on the project, Tyler Schilling of Concrete Frame Associates, LLC,  daughter, Emerie, had been admitted to Children’s Hospital for a rare autoimmune disease.  The disease caused the rapid onset of complete muscle wasting.  Emerie spent four days in the ICU and then two months in rehabilitation.

The UCHealth AOP Parking Garage  jobsite faced the Children’s Hospital rooms where Emerie was fighting for her life.  Wishing to spark joy and bring hope, the entire project team collected donations for a gift basket for her.  They delivered the box to Tyler on an afternoon when Emerie was still in and out of the ICU. It was then that he mentioned that occasionally, he took her in a wheelchair to the 9th floor windows to watch the job’s progress. It was something that took her mind off things while she was bed bound.

The next day Bryan Flores, Project Engineer at Swinerton, designed and had printed a 4’x24’ sign from Fast Signs and JD Wermerskirchen, Superintendent, built a frame to mount the sign on. The team figured out when Emerie’s next window visit would be and assembled the field crew to raise the sign and wave to her.

When Emerie was wheeled to the window that day, she was surprised to see 50 construction workers holding a giant sign and waving.  Over the phone, Emerie was able to share her appreciation for the kind gesture with a soft “thank you.”  They told her the sign would be waiting for her to come and pick up.

“Knowing we made an impact on someone who needed it the most, has been empowering to say the least,” said Bryan.  “I am proud of my team and the trade partners at the jobsite who all jumped in and contributed to making someone they did not know smile.”

Seeing the sign had lifted Emerie spirits and she made a quick recovery that surprised the hospital doctors and staff.  A few short months later, wearing a pink construction hat and vest donated by TMA Supply, she walked out the door of the hospital to claim her sign.  The project team invited her and her family to a safety BBQ to celebrate where she was presented with the sign and a box of donuts. The banner is hung in her room and she didn’t take off her hard hat and vest for weeks after she came home.

Inspired by the team’s kindness, Emerie and her dad teamed up with the Swinerton team  to start planting a wooden “Where’s Waldo?” cutout sign around UCHealth AOP Parking Garage jobsite with the idea that it will give other young patients a game to play every day, from across the street at Children’s Hospital.

“Just that someone who didn’t even know me would (go through with) that act of kindness,” Emerie recently told Denver7. “(Now), we’re setting up a foundation to help (others) find a spark and to help them have hope, too.”  Waldo” is the first project of Emerie’s new foundation, called Stand and Fight. The foundation’s mission is to positively influence the heart of children and their families who are enduring the hardship of a new life-threatening diagnosis.

Special thanks to Coggins and Sons, Brundage Bone, Harris Davis Rebar, Kumar and Associates, Hudspeth, Design Mechanical, Guarantee Electric, H&E Equipment Rental, and CFA for helping us on this very special mission.