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  3. The impact of the Giggle Doctor visits for Chiara and her family

We recently spoke to Paola about her daughter Chiara’s experience of the Giggle Doctors:

’We met Dr Dotty really early on in Chiara’s diagnosis. I remember it was the first day we arrived at Southampton Hospital for her biopsy. Doctors had diagnosed a brain tumor and she had been transferred to Southampton Hospital for treatment.  We were still very much in shock from her tumor diagnosis and we were waiting anxiously for the biopsy results. At this moment the Giggle Doctors came in. Dr Dotty came over and asked if I thought Chiara would like them to come across. I looked over at Chiara and her eyes were popping out, mesmerised, wondering who this Doctor was. So I said, ‘yes, sure!’ She sat on Chiara’s bed for a while and played games with her. Chiara was so happy!

Chiara’s health deteriorated rapidly after that, as she suffered a haemorrhage that damaged her brain quite severely and sadly she passed away a few months later. But I still have this lovely memory from the biopsy day, the day we received the news that her brain tumor was terminal. Obviously, the results were horrific. But having this image in my head of Chiara, all smiles, and laughter, having fun with Dr Dotty is really helpful and a good memory to look back on from such a difficult time.

After Chiara passed away, I received an email from Dr Dotty, telling me how much Chiara had touched her. It really moved me. Dr Dotty sees so many children, I was really amazed and moved that she had remembered Chiara in particular.’’