We recently spoke to Sophie’s mum about the impact of the Giggle Doctor visits for Sophie.
‘’Sophie is 7 years old. When she was 20 months old, she had an accident and suffered a grave brain injury. Because of the severe oxygen deprivation, she now has several disabilities. She is non-verbal, for example.
Sophie has to spend a lot of time in hospital. Because she requires some specific care, she has been to numerous different hospitals and sometimes she has to stay for a very long time, as long as 8 weeks in a row. It’s also very difficult for the rest of the family. Sophie is not independent at all so we have to constantly make sure she has all she needs. No one fully understands her, not even the doctors. So I have to be there.
I remember the first time we met the Giggle Doctors. It was in Surrey’s Children’s Trust. Sophie and I were really tired as she had just been transferred from Lincoln Hospital, after a 5-hour journey. In the evening we went to the big living room where all children gather, I was cuddling Sophie on a sofa when they came in. They started singing. It was really fun and engaging for both the children and the parents. But most importantly, I could see that the Giggle Doctors were all assessing the various needs of each child to make sure they were doing the right things. For example, Sophie does not like sudden loud noises. The Giggle Doctors noticed that quickly and I really appreciated it. I spend so much time repeating it, so for them to notice it naturally was really good. It was really lovely for me.
Sophie’s interactions in hospitals are usually not personalised. The doctors, the nurses, they don’t have time to create a real rapport with her. They need to be efficient so they just talk to me really. But when the Giggle Doctors come, it’s all about Sophie. They are here for her, just for her. That’s amazing,
Sophie is non-verbal, but you can still understand a lot from her face. Most of the time we spend in hospitals is dull and monotonous and Sophie rolls her eyes. But when the Giggle Doctors are here, her face lights up. Having some fun in this overall negative experience is a real breath of fresh air’’