Safari and underwater adventures: How one San Antonio man transformed hospital walls for pediatric patients

Artist Anthony De Leon, Sr. has painted several murals at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – Visitors at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio downtown may have noticed some colorful changes on the walls.

For the past year, cast technician Anthony De Leon, Sr. has been using his free time to paint murals at the hospital.

De Leon has worked at the hospital since 1996 but recently started painting the walls to lift the mood of pediatric patients who may be having a rough day.

“It just changes the whole aspect of coming in to see the doctor. It keeps the kids’ minds at ease,” said De Leon.

From safari trips to underwater adventures, De Leon has painted everything from pandas, whales and sea turtles, but his favorite is one of a giraffe.

“It’s just basically the giraffe head. So as you’re going into the X-ray room, he peeks around the corner,” said De Leon.

De Leon has painted 16 murals, and each floor has a different theme. De Leon said each one could take up to a week to complete.

“We want children to get wowed when they see this artwork. It’s just coming up with something that the kids will love and enjoy,” said De Leon.

De Leon started painting at an early age, and this experience reignited his passion. He said the support from his family, co-workers and patients has inspired him to continue his work to impact children and their families positively.

“I hold them dearly in my heart, getting me started and bringing all of this to life. It was in there. It just needed to be brought out for the children,” said De Leon.

About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

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