Former UNC Children's Hospital patient donates Xboxes to current patients

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- A former patient at UNC Children's Hospital has spent the past year raising money to purchase Xboxes for patient rooms.

"I was diagnosed in October of 2014 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia," explained Ethan Johnson.

He spent more than 100 nights as a patient at UNC Children's Hospital undergoing treatment.

"I saw the need for gaming systems because there was a floating system, and it would just make the rounds," Johnson said.

While the hospital has a teen center and kids area, some patients can be confined to their rooms for days at a time depending on their condition or specific treatment.

With that in mind, Johnson, who is now in remission, raised enough donations to place an Xbox into every room on the fifth floor, which was 17 in total.

"He understands the mindset that you have going through things, and he put something in front of you to just clear your head," explained 16-year-old Javon Brinkley of Nash County, who has tumors in his stomach.

On Tuesday morning, Brinkley was playing Madden in his room. He said the gaming system has helped make his stay go smoother.

"It takes a lot of heart, a lot of work," Brinkley said of Johnson's efforts. The teen also said he was inspired by Johnson's work, and hoped to give back to the hospital once he finished his treatment.

The donations are not the way Johnson hopes to make a difference for children battling diseases. Now, 19 years old, Johnson is studying pre-nursing at Wake Technical Community College.

"With my many stays and the care I received like I said, it helped inspire me to help others, not only through this project but also through the medical field," said Johnson.

This past December, he received his nurse's assistant certificate.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.