The Clown Doctors healing powers were on display recently when three-year-old Isaac had his arm cast changed in the Outpatient clinics at Gosford Hospital.
Knowing how frightened Isaac was of the hospital, Outpatient Nurse Unit Manager Beth Selby organised his follow-up appointment to coincide with the Clown Doctors visit.
“He went from being a scared little boy who cried to the point of hysterics and not letting anyone touch him last visit, to a smiling laughing little boy that we were able to examine,” Ms Selby said. “To say it was a success would be a complete understatement.”
After the success of the 2016 Central Coast Appeal, The Humour Foundation will be holding the 2017 roadside collection fundraising appeal on the Central Coast in October. All funds raised will help the Central Coast Clown Doctors visit more sick kids on the Coast.
Clown Doctors have increased the appeal to run for five days, from Tuesday 17 October to Saturday 21 October with roadside collection points throughout the Central Coast where drivers can safely pull over and make a donation.
The Humour Foundation Fundraising Manager Ian Doig said the roadside collection appeal has become an important event for the organisation as residents from the Central Coast fund their own Clown Doctors Program. All funds raised will stay on the coast to ensure local kids benefit from the magic of Clown Doctors.
“We are excited to hold this event again, after a hugely successful first year. We saw first-hand how the Central Coast community got behind our local appeal and we’re really confident everyone will support us again to ensure the program continues at Gosford Hospital,” Mr Doig said.
On Clown Round days, the “doctors” help children cope better with unknown or painful procedures – not only in the Gosford Hospital Children’s Ward but the Emergency Department Kid’s Corner and Outpatient clinics.
Isaac’s mother Jessica Barrington said it had been very traumatic getting the cast put on his broken arm and then when it had to be removed and replaced, they had to stop and give up because of Isaac’s distress.
“None of the normal distractions worked previously and I even had my doubts that the Clown Doctors would make a difference but Isaac was so absorbed and engaged with them he wasn’t even watching what the staff were doing,” Ms Barrington said.
“It was wonderful to see and now he actually gets excited coming into the hospital just to visit, wondering if the Clown Doctors are going to be around.”
Ms Selby said the Clown Doctors were professional and caring.
“If we ever have a child in the clinic who is as scared as this one was, I will do my best to co-ordinate their appointment with the Clown Doctors’ visit,” she said.
Volunteers will be donating their time to run collection points over five days. They will be recognised by signage, Clown Doctor coats, bright pink buckets, large hats and large cut out smiles. By donating, the Central Coast community will be directly funding their Clown Doctor Program. All money raised on the Coast, stays on the Coast. If you are unable to make it to a collection pointplease head to https://donate.clowndoctors.org.au/payment/default.aspx?eventCode=CC to make a tax deductible donation.
The appeal will be launched in the Gosford Hospital Children’s Ward on Thursday 12 October at 10.30 a.m. Interviews and photographs with clown doctors will be available at this time. Please confirm your attendance with Lauren Nicholls.
Appeal Dates: From Tuesday 17 October to Saturday 21 October between 7am and 3pm each day. Collection points:
Ocean View Dr, Wamberal Lake
Sparks Rd (west bound traffic)
The Entrance Road
Brisbane Water Drive, Koolewong Foreshore Reserve (south bound traffic)
Terrigal Dr, Tourist Information Centre (east bound traffic)
About The Humour Foundation:
Imagine being a sick kid in hospital, in need of a friend to play, laugh and smile with – that’s the magic of Clown Doctors! Clown Doctors are medical clowns – highly trained, professional performers who spread ‘doses’ of fun and laughter throughout the hospital, working to uplift sick kids. Clown Doctors work in partnership with medical professionals to divert children during painful procedures, calm and distract in emergency, encourage and assist during OT and physiotherapy and improve the quality of life of some of our most vulnerable members of the community; sick and injured kids. The Humour Foundation provides Clown Doctors to 24 hospitals nationally. The Humour Foundation does not receive any government or hospital funding. It is funded solely by the community through donations, sponsorship, grants and fundraising events.
Gosford Hospital media enquiries:
Central Coast Local Health District
Senior Communications Officer Lauren Nicholls
(02) 4320 3221
0414 193 308
Clown Doctors media enquiries:
The Humour Foundation
Community and Media
02 8978 4500