Mon 09 Apr 2018
How Giggle Doctors helped to keep Max smiling during his hospital treatment
We recently came across the Theodora Children's Charity and the fantastic work of their Giggle Doctors and wanted to share Max's story with you. A stay in hospital can be very frightening for a child and for a parent it can be one of the hardest things they will ever experience. During such challenging times, Giggle Doctors offer a glimmer of hope. They have their very own white 'doctor' coats decorated with funny prints and their pockets brimming with toys and gadgets. Whilst medical staff treat the illness, Giggle Doctors will focus on the children, offering a breath of fresh air by creating a more positive hospital experience for them.
Below Max’s mum shares the difficulties of having a young child spend so much time in hospital.
At two years old Max was diagnosed with cancer. What followed was over three years of intensive chemotherapy. Today thankfully Max’s condition has improved, although he still has to attend regular hospital appointments for check-ups.
“When Max was younger he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Max pretty much grew up in hospital - he was two when he was first diagnosed and nearly six by the time his treatment finished. Max has had over three years of chemotherapy and steroids. Fortunately, as Max’s condition has improved, we now only have to return to the hospital for regular check-ups to ensure there isn’t any damage left from the treatment.
Spending long periods of time in hospital is challenging to say the least. Sometimes Max wouldn’t be able to leave his room; which you can imagine would be a very long and boring day for a young boy. My options to keep Max amused were very limited and I had no choice but to rely on iPads & laptops. Like any other parent, I don’t want my child to spend all their time using digital gadgets. Unfortunately, when you’re stuck in a hospital environment your options are limited. That is why the visits from Giggle Doctors made a real difference to Max’s day.
It was just after Max was diagnosed when he met the Giggle Doctors for the first time. Max was receiving treatment for an infection and a Giggle Doctor came into his ward and blew bubbles that wouldn’t burst. Max thought it was the best thing ever - he couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t burst! He had been very quiet and sullen for days and the visit brought him out of himself a little bit.
Since then, Max has seen the Giggle Doctors lots of times. One of the Giggle Doctors Max sees a lot is Dr I-Spy. He especially likes it when she does magic tricks!
As a parent with a child in hospital, you are constantly trying to find ways to keep your child amused and happy; which can be really tough. Then the Giggle Doctors visit and for that moment in time you can just sit back and see that your child is happy. It’s taking their mind off what they are waiting to do and face, whether that be a test, a scan, or seeing a doctor. It alleviates the worry for that little while.”
If you would like to find out more about the Theodora Children's Charity and their Giggle Doctors fantastic work, you can visit their website here: https://uk.theodora.org/