Astros shortstop Carlos Correa visits Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands

Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers patients and their families at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands got to shake hands with an extra special visitor last week thanks to the centers’ clinical director Dr. Ricardo Flores.

Flores and Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa are close friends, both being from Puerto Rico and organizing joint relief efforts after their homeland was battered by two hurricanes earlier this year. As a favor to Flores and as the result of a genuine desire to brighten a child’s day, Correa stopped by Texas Children’s newest community hospital on December 15 and spent a few hours shaking hands, posing for pictures and signing autographs.

“This time of year should be a time of happiness for children,” Correa said. “Hopefully I can be a distraction for them, even if it’s for a short time.”

Watch a video of Carlos Correa’s visit to Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

Several employees who saw the famous baseball player interact with the patients teared up and said Correa’s time at the hospital definitely made a difference.

“These kids have been through so much,” said Ashlee Krueger, a nurse with the Cancer Center. “It’s very touching to see them smile, laugh and have some fun.”

Flores said he is grateful to be able to arrange such an extraordinary visit for his patients, their families and some of the hospital’s employees.

“These children are the real champions,” he said. “They know what it means to fight and strive to stay strong each and every day.”

Click here to read more about Flores’ efforts in Puerto Rico.