Amy's mum Heidi and Dr Snug share their magical Giggle Doctor story...
Six-year-old Amy has been in and out of hospital since she was born. Understandably, she struggles during her visits, sometimes not speaking for days – that is until Dr Snug arrives on the ward! Heidi, Amy’s mum, kindly agreed to share Amy’s story and how she has formed a close friendship with Dr Snug. The feelings are mutual and Dr Snug also shares a memorable visit and what it’s like to be friends with such a brave little girl…
Heidi: “Amy has difficulties with her bowels and also has sensory issues, which means she has various eating and drinking phobias. This doesn’t help, as the two go hand in hand. Amy’s been in and out of hospital since she was born and has appointments several times a year. She finds them scary and she does struggle with them – it can be very difficult. However, there are certain little things when she’s in hospital that she really looks forward to and obviously Dr Snug is one of them!
Amy first met Dr Snug two years ago and immediately the atmosphere lifted. Amy loves magic and Dr Snug gets her to perform magic tricks with her. She always zones in to what each child likes and what’s around their beds. With Amy, she saw her wand and started doing magic. Another child had a sticker book, so they played with the stickers. She’s able to do lots of different things depending on what the child has around them and what they like.
Dr Snug’s visits give us a little break and also gives us hope. When Amy was last in hospital, she was having her tube out and hadn’t spoken for a day. She went all that time without speaking and went in to herself emotionally. When Dr Snug visited, she actually started smiling and talking. She helped to bring her back.
Dr Snug does so much. You can see that she really cares about all of the children she visits. She has so much love to give them. It’s also the little things, like how she makes sure everything is clean. Children don’t notice it, but she’ll wipe something that drops on the floor. It’s not just that she’s there for the kids, she’s also protecting them as well, making sure everything is ok and done properly, which is fantastic.
We can say the words thank you, but it isn’t enough. Dr Snug does so much more than a word can be. It’s so difficult being in there and then she comes along and it’s like Christmas – that magical feeling that children get when there are no worries and everything is magical. That’s Dr Snug all wrapped up. She comes in, the children are excited, the atmosphere changes. What she does for the parents by taking that pain away - the word thank you just doesn’t add up.”
Dr Snug: “As a Giggle Doctor, I have the privilege to meet the most amazingly and courageous children and families. Sometimes you meet a child whose independent spirt and strength of character just radiates from them. Amy is one of these children. We have played together on a number of occasions and Amy has become very good at magic. We chat like old friends now.
Last week Amy and I had had a lovely happy time and I had said goodbye and continued my round on the ward. A little later, as I was leaving the ward, I walked past Amy's room and I could hear her crying and distressed. I put my head round the curtain to see if I could help.
Amy was on her mum’s lap and the nurse was just starting to remove her cannula. With an "ok" nod from the nurse, I asked Amy if she wanted me to come and be with her, to help her be brave and she said yes.
I quickly sat down in front of her and together we acknowledged that it hurt but that we could blow the pain away. It might help if we did some lion roars! We did some blowing and then Amy did the biggest Lion roar I ever heard...and the cannula was out.
"Now we just need to remove the tube down your nose and then you can go home" said the nurse.
"Yes and I'm going to do that myself" said Amy bravely. "You'd better back off Dr Snug, as there might be snot flying". Amy had done this before!
I quickly wrapped myself up in the curtain and in a flash she had pulled the tube out!
"ahh,” she said "that tube has been stopping my smile, you know my big smile, but I can do that again now”.
We did a dance to celebrate and she showed me that big amazing smile...wow...
What a privilege it is to share these moments with courageous and wonderful children like Amy, and what a gift that big smile was for me!"