Help is at hand

The Children’s Foundation Christmas activities in December raised an amazing £9,100, which means the charity can buy much needed equipment for the Great North Children’s Hospital.

The charity recently installed a revolutionary 3D pain distraction unit, a Vpod, on Ward 1A in the GNCH – which reduces stress, encourages relaxation, reduces boredom and provides a distraction using interactive software for children receiving clinical treatments.

Young patients such as Jaeden Jessers, six, who has been a patient on the ward since last October.

Jaeden had a bone marrow transplant two years ago but has been a resident on the ward more recently after he picked up a number of infections and having nutritional problems.

It means the youngster has not grown at the same rate as other children his age.

Jaeden’s mum, Stef Cockerham, 27, says the new equipment has helped her son while he has been undergoing treatment.

She added: “He is able to play games on it and, if we put the glasses on, we can see everything in 3D which proves a good distraction when he is getting treated.”

Young patients such as Allana Parker, 8, from Walker, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and is a regular patient on Ward 1A – used the Vpod during her stay in December. The Vpod has many programs with pirates and princesses, roller coasters and games.

Allana’s favourite character is “the Genie, he’s really big.”

Alex Simcox, 33, Allana’s mum, “We spent December in hospital for Allana’s treatments. So Allana missed most of the activities going on in the lead up to Christmas. We put all our decorations up at home and had to leave them.”

“Allana’s Cystic Fibrosis means she suffers badly from lots of chest infections and horrible bugs, which have such a serious effect on her.”

“When she is in hospital, on a daily basis she will have many and sometimes painful procedures, lasting as long at 40 minutes. The new 3D Vpod has been great for her. She loves the Genie!”

Tracey Gothard, Play Specialist Ward 1A, “I have wanted a 3D Vpod for a long time now, as I have seen how great they are at distracting the children from what is happening to them in the treatment room.”

“We have the largest ward here in the GNCH with 21 beds, and most children usually staying in for sometimes 6 months, 9 months or even a year. You can imagine how unhappy they are about having the bloods taken daily, or having long or central lines inserted.”

“We do have many techniques for distracting the children but this 3D technology is unlike any other piece of equipment, we’ve used”

“By putting on the 3D glasses they are transported to a different world. It also gives us a great a talking point with nervous parents too. It breaks down the barriers and allows us to carry out the procedures swiftly.”

Libby Nolan, Fundraising Manager, “On behalf of The Children’s Foundation I would just like to thank everyone who was involved in our Christmas fundraising events. Without local businesses, schools and volunteers we wouldn’t have been able to raise over £9,000.”

“This will be used in the North East and Cumbria providing practical support and resources for children, their families and the people working with them – such as providing much needed equipment for the Great North Children’s Hospital.”

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