Ruridh* is a 7 year old boy who contracted a brain infection whilst being treated for the flu. When the clowndoctors met him, he was using a wheelchair, had little control over his physical movements and was no longer able to communicate verbally. The Clowndoctors visited him regularly over the 15 weeks that he was in Glasgow Children’s Hospital.
When Ruridh first set eyes on us in the hospital corridor, his face brightened into a huge smile. When we came closer, and he slowly gestured to give Dr Wallop a high five. When their hands met, she went flying down the corridor. Ruridh burst out laughing in delight. He could control us! In the coming weeks, as his physical co-ordination gradually recovered, the game developed into him blowing kisses that would send us flying and he used an ipad to indicate “Clowndoctors” and “I love you”. He would ask staff when we were coming and would always be ready for us when we arrived on the ward.
One week he stood up out of his chair and said, ‘I want to be one of you!’. Dr Maybee said, ‘well, you’ll need a Clowndoctor name’ to which he promptly replied, ‘Dr Bum!’. The next week he greeted us wearing a little Doctor’s coat. We brought him a red nose and his own Dr Bum name badge. On the day he was discharged, he proudly wore his Clowndoctor outfit as Dr Wallop and Dr Hoot paraded him down the corridor, laughing and waving as he went.
‘Now when he talks to the psychologist about his time in hospital, he talks about the Clowndoctors. He absolutely loves you. You are an amazing bunch of people. You filled us with a belly full of laughter over the last 15 weeks and not only putting a smile on my sons face I actually enjoyed your antics as well!’ Ruridh’s Dad
*name changed for privacy