The Clown Doctors’ healing powers were on display recently when three-year-old Isaac had his arm cast changed in the Outpatient clinic at Gosford Hospital.
Knowing how frightened Isaac was of the hospital, Outpatient Nurse Unit Manager, Ms Beth Selby, organised his follow-up appointment to coincide with the Clown Doctors’ visit.
“He went from being a scared little boy who cried to the point of hysterics and not letting anyone touch him last visit, to a smiling laughing little boy that we were able to examine,” Ms Selby said.
“To say it was a success would be a complete understatement.”
After the success of the 2016 Central Coast Appeal, The Humour Foundation will be holding the 2017 roadside collection fundraising appeal on the Central Coast in October.
All funds raised will help the Central Coast Clown Doctors visit more sick kids on the Coast.
Clown Doctors have increased the appeal to run for six days, from Monday, October 16 to Saturday, October 21, with roadside collection points throughout the Central Coast, where drivers can safely pull over and make a donation.
The Humour Foundation Fundraising Manager, Mr Ian Doig, said the roadside collection appeal has become an important event for the organisation, as residents from the Central Coast fund their own Clown Doctors’ Program.
All funds raised will stay on the Coast to ensure local kids benefit from the magic of Clown Doctors.
“We are excited to hold this event again, after a hugely successful first year.
“We saw first-hand how the Central Coast community got behind our local appeal and we’re really confident everyone will support us again to ensure the program continues at Gosford Hospital,” Mr Doig said.
On Clown Round days, the “doctors” help children cope better with unknown or painful procedures, not only in the Gosford Hospital Children’s Ward, but also at the Emergency Department Kid’s Corner and Outpatient clinics.
Isaac’s mother, Ms Jessica Barrington, said it had been very traumatic getting the cast put on his broken arm, and then, when it had to be removed and replaced, they had to stop and give up because of Isaac’s distress.
“None of the normal distractions worked previously and I even had my doubts that the Clown Doctors would make a difference, but Isaac was so absorbed and engaged with them, he wasn’t even watching what the staff were doing,” Ms Barrington said.
“It was wonderful to see, and now, he actually gets excited coming into the hospital just to visit, wondering if the Clown Doctors are going to be around.”
Ms Selby said the Clown Doctors were professional and caring.
“If we ever have a child in the clinic who is as scared as this one was, I will do my best to co-ordinate their appointment with the Clown Doctors’ visit,” she said.
Volunteers will be donating their time to run collection points over six days.
They will be recognised by signage, Clown Doctor coats, bright pink buckets, large hats and large cut out smiles.
By donating, the Central Coast community will be directly funding their own Clown Doctor Program.
All money raised on the Coast, stays on the Coast.
Media release, Oct 3
Lauren Nicholls, Central Coast Local Health District