Local Girl Shops to Give Gifts to Sick Children at Ohio Hospital

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ROSEVILLE -- An El Dorado Hills teenager got a shopping spree at Big Lots in Roseville Wednesday morning. The items will be given to patients at the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Heather Rayser looks like a normal teenager who loves fashion and shopping. But she was not always this way.

"I was [on] bed rest like 24/7. And I was always in a lot of pain," Rayser said.

For 16 years, Rayser had a defective colon.

She was unable to sense when she needed to go to the bathroom, so she was always stuck in bed.

The Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, became her second home.

"I even made friends with the nurses and everything. They're so friendly and amazing," Rayser said.

In 2014, doctors there performed a rare surgery and inserted an electronic nerve stimulator near her tailbone.

Now, she is able to live life like a normal teenager.

"It's made all the difference. I'm out of bed. I have a job. It's going amazing right now," Rayser said.

That is why she was able to spend time at the Big Lots on Wednesday morning.

A special partnership between Nationwide Hospital and Big Lots allowed her to shop for gifts for children at the hospital.

"Being able to support the families and being able to support the kids is a very important thing," Big Lots Executive Bill Boas said. "No Cap. She can just shop until she drops."

"My favorite thing was pajamas, so I got a lot of pajamas for them, because that always made me cozy," Rayser said.

For 30 minutes at the Big Lots, she went down every aisle.

And by the end, her $2,000 receipt was longer than her beautiful blonde hair.

"I feel so bad for the stockers, because there are so many things that I grabbed," Rayser laughed.

Through these gifts, Rayser hopes to tell every child that she has been where they are now, and to stay positive.

"It might seem like it's at its worst right now, but it will get better one day. It surely has for me. So I am sure it will for everyone else. I'm so proud of them for hanging on, because it's hard," Rayser said.

To add to the Big Lots-Nationwide Children's Hospital fund, shop at Big Lots and donate.