In November 2018, we spoke to Hayley about her daughter Pippa’s experience of the Giggle Doctors.
“Pippa was diagnosed with Burkitts Leukaemia last September when she was seven years old. We’re from Brighton but she only spent four days there before being transferred to Southampton. Pippa was coming to the end of her treatment but unfortunately during her end of treatment tests, they discovered that she had relapsed. That was in July. Because she had relapsed, she couldn’t have the same sort of Chemotherapy that she had been having, so she had to have a stem cell transplant. Pippa has 3 sisters and thankfully, her eldest sister was a 100% match and was the donor. She had the stem cell transplant at the end of October and we are currently in the Royal Marsden and just waiting for everything to show signs that it’s worked and then hopefully that will be it.
Pippa first met the Giggle Doctors at Brighton Hospital when she had just been diagnosed. She has also seen them at Southampton and at the Royal Marsden. I can’t tell you how much she has enjoyed their visits. It’s made a big difference to her time in hospital. Every single Giggle Doctor without fail has made her laugh. They have lifted her spirits 100%.
No matter how rubbish she is feeling, she immediately perks up when she sees the Giggle Doctors, even if they are not in her room. Then obviously when they do come in, it’s just amazing. The impact that they have on her even if she’s feeling rubbish, she totally changes. It gives her a buzz. I get in tears of laughter from it. I think they are brilliant too. I could sit for hours with them.
Being in isolation is very hard for Pippa as she is quite a spirited young kid and she likes to be out there. Being away from home is also difficult. Whilst she is in isolation, the Giggle Doctors can’t come into the room but they can stand at the door and talk with her. This really cheers her up.
Last week there was a Halloween party for all the children on the ward but because Pippa’s in isolation, she couldn’t go to the party. It got to the middle of the afternoon and she’d seen the Giggle Doctors but they hadn’t been in to see her yet so I went and looked for them. I saw Dr Dotty and I asked if she could come and see Pippa. About half hour later Dr Dotty and Dr Bananas both came in and spent a good 20 minutes with her. Pippa made them have a sing off which was brilliant. She was just full of smiles then. It was lovely. Dr Geehee and Dr Dotty also remember her from when they met her at Brighton too which is nice.
I’ve got no other words apart from they are fantastic. Please keep doing what you’re doing”.