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President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden spend time with kids in the hospital at Christmas

10-month-old Bella was born with a congenital heart defect and has spent her whole life inside the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Children’s National Hospital. Her mom Destiny Casbon, of Front Royal, VA, had the opportunity to share her daughter’s story this afternoon with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

The First Lady visits are an annual tradition that dates back more than 75 years to Bess Truman, who stopped by to see families who couldn’t spend their holidays at home. This is the second time President Biden has joined his wife for the visit.

"This past year my family and I have been through so many medical challenges with our youngest, and to get a chance to share our journey with the President and First Lady today was so uplifting and encouraging," said Destiny Casbon. “This time of year can be especially hard when you have a child in the hospital, which makes the visit even more special.”

During the visit, the President and First Lady met with several families in the hospital’s CICU and also toured the telehealth command center to learn about the cutting-edge technology used to keep continuous watch over the most fragile children with critical heart disease.

They also took time to thank hospital staff, including healthcare workers from the hospital’s Emergency Department.

“We are honored that the President and First Lady took the time to visit with members of our Emergency Department,” said Joelle Simpson, M.D., division chief of Emergency Medicine at Children’s National. “It was a very pleasant surprise for our team to be recognized as they continue to work tirelessly through this holiday season.”

The First Lady read “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats to a small group of patients who gathered in front of a Christmas tree. The entire visit was also streamed by Seacrest Studios to every inpatient room.

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The Bidens Visit Children's National

The President and First Lady met with families in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, toured the telehealth command center and thanked hospital staff. The First Lady also read a story to a small group of patients gathered in front of a Christmas tree.

About Children’s National Hospital