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Boy, 10, Speaks Up for Others with Sick Family Members

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LEAWOOD, Kan. - Ten-year-old Blake Browne recently lost his best friend, his grandfather, who passed away a few weeks ago, but Blake did not get to be by his grandpa's side because he says the hospital staff said he was too young to go into ICU.  This didn't sit well with Blake, so he spoke up.

Blake's Grandpa, Joe Brocato, who started Friends of Special People was someone Blake looked up to.

"He was very kind," Blake said.

So when his Grandpa got sick, Blake still wanted to be by his side, but most of the time he couldn't.  Blake says he wasn't allowed into the I.C.U. where his Grandpa was, because the hospital told him he was too young.

"I didn't see why you had to be a certain age to go and see your family," Blake said.

Blake didn't get to say his final good bye to his best friend.  Sad, and angry, Blake decided to take action, so he wrote a heartfelt letter to St. Luke's South, but added stickers to make it a little nicer.

In it he said,  "Now he was my best friend, and I didn't get to see him because he was in ICU.  That made me mad...I'm not just speaking for myself.  I bet this has happened to many other kids my age," Blake read from the letter.

The hospital took him seriously.  Blake got an email from a staff member on Thursday at St. Luke's South saying their policy is to allow children with an adult into the icu to see sick family members if possible.  Blake was thrilled he spoke up, and his Grandma assures him that his Grandpa would be pretty happy too.

"She said I bet he's smiling and telling everyone he knows up there that my Blake made a difference," Blake said smiling.

A spokesperson for St. Luke's South Hospital told Fox 4 tonight their policy has always been to try their best to allow supervised children into see their sick family members in the I.C.U.  They say the letter they sent to Blake emphasizes that policy.

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