We recently spoke to Ruth, George’s Mum about George’s experience of the Giggle Doctors.
“George went into the Royal Marsden in January 2015 and we were there for six months. We went home for short periods of time in-between but on the whole, we were at the hospital for the majority of those six months. At one point, we had a run of 40 days there without going home. He was just four years old when he went in, and had his 5th birthday in hospital.
It was a very long time and there were phases where we couldn’t see anyone else. Either George wasn’t well enough or they weren’t well. We had long periods by ourselves.
George was really miserable in the beginning when he first went into hospital. He wasn’t one of these run around and put on a show children. He was really poorly and not interested. When anyone came to visit he showed exactly how he felt. He wasn’t planning on putting on a brave face for anyone.
It was hard going but the Giggle Doctors didn’t give up on him. When it was just me and him he found it a bit much but he loved watching them with other people. They kept trying to involve him. They wouldn’t be in his face or over the top but they did things that made him curious and eventually they won him over which was great.
That first time they really got him involved, they made his toys squeak and then all of a sudden, he was there with them and enjoyed it all. He realised that it was fun and that there was no pressure on him which was really great. A lot of the children were happy to go along and join in with the Giggle Doctors and I think he felt like he had to do that too but when he realised he could just sit there and watch without feeling under pressure he was really happy.
At the beginning of our stay in hospital, we were so grateful for the Giggle Doctors as it was a bit of light-hearted relief. It’s an amazing thing and we love them. It’s such a long stretch of time to be in hospital. They are one of the only nice experiences so we have fond memories of them but not the rest of it.
George is now able to remember some of the good parts, rather than just the bad parts. He remembers the Giggle Doctors; Playing snowballs with cotton wall or paper. It was lovely to see him smile. He was so unhappy so just to see him smile for a little while when they were there was nice.
When they first came around we were like oh my gosh, this is brilliant. Each of the Giggle Doctors have their own way of making everyone feel happier because it’s not just for the children, it’s for the whole family. It’s a wonderful feeling. Every visit made you feel euphoric”.