Our proudest moments as a charity come when we are able to direct funds to needy causes as part of our mission to assist children and young people in their fight against life threatening diseases. When we received a request from Leeds Children’s Hospital, Kids for Life were delighted to help out. In our previous issue of the Kids for Life magazine, we highlighted the importance of play for children undergoing treatment, and the role it has in assisting their recovery. When Leeds Children’s Hospital made an approach to us, they specified the need for a piece of equipment that can make an incredible difference for the children they treat. Sharon Evans, LCH Fundraising Development Manager wrote:
“We are applying for funding to purchase an interactive pain distraction system. This will, without a doubt, enhance a child’s hospital experience by providing a positive distraction to pain.
We aim to provide a child friendly and welcoming environment for all attending Children’s Outpatients. It is important for the patient’s family members and also the medical staff carrying out the procedure to feel calm and relaxed…by using the pain distraction system we will be able to make the experience of being in hospital a more positive and relaxed one.
Children/young people in particular are more likely to find the hospital environment at times distressing. The introduction of the 3D V-pod into these areas will enable a positive experience to be gained during the treatment.”
The experience of going to hospital is a daunting one for anyone, and of course for children it can be particularly distressing. Adults at least are able to rationalise the situation they are in, whereas for a child it involves the fear and anxiety associated with being in a strange environment and undergoing procedures that can be painful. Pain distraction is a proven method of helping children undergoing treatment for cancer and Kids for Life were delighted to be able to award almost five thousand pounds towards the cost of an incredible piece of technology that assists with this.
Features of the equipment include the projection of 3D images of floating animals in baskets, something that is so mesmerising and absorbing for those watching and experiencing them, that the children’s minds are focused on a fantastic animated cartoon world. Features also include hummingbirds, jungles or snow storms, the use of ice and snow scenes that use association to help the children to feel cool and relaxed, and there are jungle scenes which can help to make them feel warm and comfortable. They are even able to create their own animals!
Technology such as this does not come cheap, and Leeds Children’s Hospital receives no internal funding for such projects. Jane told us:
“Currently our Play Specialist uses the traditional style of pain distraction books and similar distraction toys. The 3D V-Pod is taking pain distraction to the next level.”