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Feb 21, 2014

November 2013 - February 2014

Dr Yoho
Dr Yoho

Exciting news – our Giggle Doctors have now started bringing smiles to children in hospices!

In January, Dr Yoho visited the children at Demelza Children’s Hospice in Eltham for the very first time. Bringing her own unique mix of fun, laughter, silliness and magic, she brightened the days of the children there.

Demelza offers children, young people and their families the chance to build memories as a family unit. The fun our Giggle Doctors bring will provide additional magical moments for these families to treasure forever.

Kathy Gilbert, Deputy Head of Care at Demelza South East London said:

“Dr Yoho was great fun. She saw all the children and adapted what she did, depending on who she was working with. She blew up balloons, made silly faces – the kids loved it, there was lots of laughing. We’re very excited about having Dr Yoho visit us at Demelza every month.”

Each year we continue to grow and visit more children who are in need of a little magic, fun and laughter. This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary, and a larger team of Giggle Doctors. These specialist entertainers will make a huge difference to the lives of children in hospitals, hospices and residential care.

Thank you so much for all your support and for making so many smiles possible.

Nov 25, 2013

July 2013 - October 2013

Thomas holding his wand and postcard from Dr Faffy
Thomas holding his wand and postcard from Dr Faffy

Sammy C. got in touch to tell us about the time her 7 year old son Thomas met Dr Faffy.

When did Thomas first become ill?

“Thomas went on a nature walk with his school. When his teacher wasn’t looking he picked a mushroom which unfortunately turned out to be toxic. At first his school thought his symptoms were the result of hay fever but knowing he doesn’t suffer from it I was instantly concerned. We soon realised the toxins from the mushroom had been absorbed through the pores in his skin. His face had swollen to twice its normal size and his eyes had begun to close and go blood shot.

I took him straight to the A&E department of Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl. On arrival we were seen by doctors who told Thomas that he would have to be admitted. Whilst we were waiting I saw two Giggle Doctors entertaining children and their families. They were laughing but I didn’t pay much attention, I was too worried about Thomas and his condition.”

When did Thomas first meet the Giggle Doctors?

“Once settled on the children’s ward Thomas had a series of blood tests to check whether the toxins had affected his organs. He hates needles and was in floods of tears. Dr Faffy appeared on the ward at just that moment and began blowing bubbles and singing songs. She went around the room, entertaining each of the children there. Thomas and I had been in the hospital for 5 hours by that time but Dr Faffy soon made us forget why we were there. She didn’t pass judgement or comment on how his face looked, she looked past all that, concentrating solely on cheering him up. She sang funny songs and encouraged him to take part in some magic. There was such an aura about her in that single moment; she made all the day’s events just fade away. Even the nurses got involved, singing along and bursting the bubbles that Dr Faffy had blown. In my eyes it made them seem human and ‘nice’ as Thomas put it; more than just someone in a blue or green uniform. Another hour passed and Dr Faffy was still going around the wards and the play room. She came back to Thomas and me to sing a song but first made him a balloon banjo. He played along with Dr Faffy with a huge Cheshire cat smile on his face. She gave him a certificate for being so brilliant.”

How did Dr Faffy help?

“There’s a beautiful quote which I think sums up what the Giggle Doctors do for sick children and their parents. “When the world says ‘give up’, hope whispers, ‘try one more time’”. Hope is sometimes found in the smallest of things. One person saying ‘hello’ or singing breaks down barriers and no matter how sick a child may be laughter helps the heart beat on and gives hope and comfort.

 Dr Faffy touched our lives in one single moment with a smile, music and lots of bubbles. She made our stay on the ward easier and helped us to forget about why we were actually there. Even now, Thomas is still talking about his visit from the Giggle Doctor. He now believes magic is not just in Harry Potter movies…he has the wand to prove it.”

Thank you so much for helping us to bring smiles to children like Thomas. We really appreciate your support.

Aug 28, 2013

May 2013 - July 2013

Dr Dotty and a child in hospital
Dr Dotty and a child in hospital

We are happy to announce that our Giggle Doctors are now bringing smiles to children at a new hospital – University Hospital Lewisham. Below is one of Dr Dotty’s stories from the first visit:

"Jessica was the first patient I met at Lewisham University Hospital, and both she and her mum were waiting anxiously for Jessica to be taken to theatre for an operation. I asked Jessica if she was 'magic Jessica from on TV', to which she replied that she wasn't magic. I gave Jessica a wand and asked her if she knew any magic words. Claiming she had no magic powers or words, I said that perhaps we could use her favourite colour instead. Jessica waved the wand and confidently said 'red', and a red ball appeared magically under her mum's hair! We placed the red ball into her hand to hold tightly, Jessica repeated her magic word and made 2 appear! I told Jessica that she was just so fantastic with the magic wand that I thought she should keep it, as a present, to which she smiled and said thank-you. A few hours later I saw Jessica again having returned from her operation, and just from across the room she beamed a big smile at me and held up her magic wand, which she was still holding when I walked past."

We are planning on visiting many more hospitals in future so that we can bring joy and laughter to even more children like Alysandra:

“I would like to write to you to say a big thank you to Dr Geehee. You made my daughter, Alysandra feel so much better whilst she was recovering from having her adenoids removed and grommets inserted. She thoroughly enjoyed the distraction, the laughter and the humour.

As a whole, she was able to cope more confidently with her post-operative pain and as a result able to work with the nurses on her recovery and was the first to go home.

After she got home, the birthday card Dr Geehee had given her was very lovingly and carefully placed up on display and her ‘honorary’ clown nose is a very treasured possession. Her memories of your visit sustained her throughout her recovery at home and it has been the inspiration of many dress up games and pretend dolly hospital.”

 A parent, July 2013

From everyone at Theodora Children’s Trust, thank you so much for your support.

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