COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The region’s first pediatric-only hospital is now open in Colorado Springs. It will serve children from all over southern Colorado and bring top-notch care a lot closer to home for many families currently traveling to Denver or beyond for care.

One of those who will benefit from the new hospital is 13-year-old Lauren Schwamb. For years she has been receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and commuting over an hour each way. Now getting her to the care she needs will only take 10 minutes.

“It will be right here,” said Schwamb.

One time on her way to Aurora, Schwamb’s mom had to pull over and give her a shot.

“I wouldn’t have made it to Children’s in Denver,” Schwamb said. “We had to stop at a really bad gas station and mom had to give me a shot that hurt.”

Schwamb has been patiently watching the progress on her hospital, and keeping a close eye on those who were building.

She was selected to be a “Kid of the Quarter” with GE Johnson, the construction company behind the hospital, and she left her impression on the building and their hearts.

“As a builder you rarely have the opportunity to engage with the community at this level while you’re building the hospital, and at first I was wondering how that was going to go with our schedule and everything, but it ended up being one of the most important things we did on the project,” said David Kenney, Senior Superintendent on the project.

Schwamb has seen the hospital at many different stages, but completion is by far her favorite.

“I like it!” she said.

“Looking back now on it, I don’t think we could have done it without people like Lauren and their families coming down to help give guys a shot in the arm for some extra inspiration on the tough days,” Kenney said.

During Schwamb’s latest visit to the hospital, Kenney proudly showed her all the attention to detail that went into the project, like softer and quieter floors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU.

“Those details were so well planned out by the hospital and the team at the very beginning and executed because they knew that those were the little things that would make a difference for families on maybe not their best day,” Kenney said.

Markus Jacobs was another “Kid of the Quarter” who also got to see the hospital before it was done and leave his mark.

“A lot of love went into building this building and everybody here that worked on it had a passion for the mission for Children’s Hospital and for the families that are coming here,” Kenney said.

Schwamb and Jacobs already know how much this new hospital means to them, and they’re excited to share it with other sick kids in need.

“This hospital will forever be my hospital,” Schwamb said. “Children’s Hospital Colorado, owned by Lauren.”