NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The “Dancing Doctor” cut a rug with patients at the Children’s Hospital for The King’s Daughter in Norfolk to brighten spirits.
Tony Adkins is a pediatric neurosurgery physician assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California. He became an internet sensation after using music and dance to put a smile on a patient’s face.
“I saw the glow in his eyes kind of leaving. I thought back to when I was a kid, of what I did. I turned on some music and started dancing. His mom filmed it and it kind of went from there,” he said.
Adkins says he chose dance because he used it as an escape while growing up in Los Angeles.
He believes that has helped him in his visits with kids.
“For me, I see what it does for the kids. Imagine being in the hospital within these walls and you can’t leave. Kids were made to explore and have fun outside. What I do, I come in and help them and relate to them with laughing and giggling. Some parents haven’t seen their kids laugh in a long time,” he said.
Adkins says it provides some of the patients a sense of normalcy and this simple act has taken him further than expected. He’s been highlighted by national and international news organizations.
“It just blew me away. I didn’t know something like this would go this far. I was taken [aback]. This is such a simple thing anybody can do and all of the sudden the world is looking at me like I’m delivering something different to medicine,” he said.
And that’s why patients enjoyed his visits.
Sixteen-year-old Brianna Goodall has been hospitalized at CHKD since New Year’s Day. While she’s visited by friends and family, she appreciated the time Adkins took with her on Monday.
“It was fun. It was nice-something new,” she said.
Adkins says he loves doing this, but there are many others who work in hospitals that do similar things. They just aren’t recognized.
He’s learned a lot through this experience about the perceptions of healthcare and is glad this highlights a different way to help people.
“It’s a breath of fresh air to see somebody like myself bring something positive to medicine,” he said.