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Robot at Saskatoon hospital a lasting legacy to young boy

WATCH ABOVE: A lasting tribute to a young boy is intended to bring comfort to patients at a Saskatoon hospital while brightening their stay.

Wednesday was Nurse Mason’s first day on the job.

Nurse Mason is actually a robot that will interact with kids on the pediatric unit at Royal University Hospital (RUH).

It will be used as a tool to help kids cope during medical procedures at the hospital.

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The robot is also a dream fulfilled for Mason Gariepy.

Mason decided he wanted to be a nurse, after spending eight months in RUH after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2016.

“He just came to me one day and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to be a nurse when I grow up,'” Mason’s mother Gale said.

While at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary to receive a stem cell transplant, something caught his eye.

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“We were actually walking to clinic one day and we saw this robot interact with another child and he was like, ‘Whoa, what is that?’” Gale explained.

When Mason learned more about the robot, he told his mom, “My hospital needs that.”

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Due to his critical illness, Mason was eligible for a wish through Make-A-Wish Foundation. He wished to give a robot to RUH.

Last November, before the seven-year-old could donate the robot, he passed away.

“We can actually say he fulfilled what he wanted to do, and it means the world to our family. It’s indescribable,” Gale said.

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“We have basically four different categories of wishes. We have: I wish to give, I wish to meet, I wish to go and I wish to have. A lot of our children do wish to give back to the community and that’s what Mason chose to do here,” said Deborah Waines-Bauer, Make-A-Wish communications manager.

“When it was time to make a wish, we knew time wasn’t on our side and we knew that this was something Mason wanted to be. He wanted to be a nurse. Unfortunately, that was not going to be in the cards for us, so this was the second best thing we could do,” Gale said.

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