The Giggle Doctors - Theodora Children's Charity
During my time at Manchester Children's Hospital I had the pleasure of accompanying Dr Bungee on the wards. Dr Bungee is not a regular doctor, he is in fact a doctor of giggles. A Giggle Doctor, whose job it is to give the gift of laughter to sick and disabled children (and I thought I had the nicest job!). The Giggle Doctors are provided to hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres by Theodora Children's Charity. Our Disney guitar playing in the corridor even meant we got Manchester’s lead nurse, Walter Tann, joining in on the fun!
From the moment Dr Bungee came bouncing into the ward you could see the children’s faces light up in excitement. Some children were shyer and a little more hesitant to interact at first but Dr Bungee knew just what to say to get each child laughing and relaxing. At one stage a little boy Nicholas, his mother and I were in uncontrollable fits of laughter at some of the tricks and the fact Dr Bungee kept referring to me as his grandmother! The impact the Giggle Doctor visits make was apparent not only in the reactions of the children but their families as well, providing a welcome reprieve from the monotony of hospital living.
Some say that laughter is the best medicine and the Giggle Doctors are really quite remarkable, bringing a little laughter, fun and bubbles to children in a world of wires and continuous beeps.
Quotes from Hospital staff and parents:
"[Play] helps children to develop and learn and it is fun. It is an essential part of healthcare." - Hospital Staff
"They are trained to the sensitive needs of the patients, understand infection control, health and safety etc as well as bringing fun to all" - Hospital Staff
"My daughter's been in hospital several times and always asks "when are the entertainers coming?" - A Parent
"I like all the times I see them. They are funny and one has a bucket over his sock!" - A Young Patient