Aquarium at children's hospital helping patients

Patients at Barbara Bush Children's Hospital are able to enjoy a good night's sleep with a traveling Aquarium by their side.

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When children have to check in to a hospital, they often go with a certain amount of fear. Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland understands that and takes steps to alleviate unease. One of those ways being a traveling aquarium.

Five years ago the hospital added it's Aquatic Relief Therapy (ART) Tank that has several types of salt water fish and live corals in it. The ART tank is completely sealed so there's no way for water to get out and it has an ultra violet sterilizer that kills bacteria, so that it can go from room to room without causing medical problems for young patients. It was provided by New England Aquarium Services.

"Kind of letting them escape and giving them something to focus on other than why they're here," said Marine Specialist with New England Aquarium Services, Shane Deuben.

Most of the fish in the traveling aquarium are colorful with names from popular children's movies such as Finding Nemo. 3-year-old Chase Huot got to have the tank by his hospital bed for a night after he was admitted into Barbara Bush Children's Hospital with a blood infection.

"Last night was the first night that Chase got the fish in his room and he loved it. He enjoyed it. He woke up to them and said it made him all better," said Chase's mom, Meaghan Huot.

The Aquatic Relief Therapy Tanks are built by Marine Ecological Habitats in Biddeford. New England Aquarium Services has placed three tanks in Maine, 5 in Chicago, Illinois and two in New Hampshire.


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