Lifestyle & Human Interest

Age 9 Boy Has Sweetest Reaction After Artist Paints Mural on Red Cast


For a growing child bursting with energy, a trip to the hospital can feel like the end of the world. But sometimes all it takes is a splash of color to turn a stifling cast into a work of art.

That’s exactly what 9-year-old Nathan discovered this week when he found himself surprised by the magic a bit of artistic imagination and a little kindness can work on a broken limb.

When the boy came to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for treatment of his injured wrist, a local artist took some time to make Nathan’s day a little brighter, according to Inside Edition.

Rory Hawkins, or “Catlanta,” is an Atlanta artist best known for his colorful depictions of cats and kittens.


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But for this project, Nathan requested a painting of the character “Beyblade” for his cast, and Hawkins readily agreed.

In order to make the final reveal more fun for Nathan, hospital staff employed the use of a blindfold, keeping the results a secret until the painting was finished.

The artist and the 9-year-old chat in a sweet video, as the design gradually takes shape on Nathan’s arm.

“I fell off the monkey bars because it was too slippery. Because it rained the day before,” Nathan says to the camera.

Artists Julio Ceballos and Yoyo Ferro also visited the hospital. Ferro decorated 12-year-old Kennedy’s prosthetic legs with a cheerful sunflower design based on Kennedy’s own artwork. Ceballos created a special baseball design for 11-year-old Clayton, whose broken arm had recently prevented him from playing his favorite sport.

Nathan’s reaction to Hawkins’ painting on his cast is priceless.

“That looks epic!” he shouts, as soon as he takes off his blindfold.

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“I definitely broke my wrist when I was growing up,” Hawkins said. “To have the opportunity to come out and make someone’s cast look a little cooler — it seemed like a fun opportunity.”

Ceballos also commented on the experience, agreeing that he was glad to have the chance to help and listen.

“I didn’t know what challenges these kids were facing, but I felt that whatever it was, I wanted to learn from them and bring them some joy,” he said. “Opportunities like this are up my alley because they’re very fulfilling and I find that just as valuable as a paycheck.”

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Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Phoenix, AZ