Meet Jack – Children’s Hospital

I don’t tend to watch much TV but tonight for some reason I stuck it on just as ITV’s new series of Children’s Hospital was starting. This series does what it says on the tin and follows the ins and outs of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The person who caught my eye and sucked me in was seven year old Jack Norfolk:

Jack just radiated through the tv! He was intelligent, articulate and charismatic far beyond what you would find in your average seven year old. He has had health problems since birth and during this episode he underwent his 22nd operation…as well as one of his weekly dialysis sessions.

So why blog about it, yes I’m slightly addicted to this new way of ranting to the world, but more importantly it was a comment made by one of the consultants that I wanted to share and discuss with the world. Dr Malcolm Lewis (Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist) had the following observation:

“Jack has lost all that sense of fear and most of the respect for doctors and nurses and just treats us as he should do I suppose, like ordinary human beings  that he can enjoy his childhood with”.

I loved this quote, I loved the idea that Jack treats the adults, especially those with medical skills, as normals 😉 I loved Dr Lewis’ honesty in his reflection and the sentiment that Jack had got it right. Did leave me wondering what more could be done to break down the system that naturally elevates health professionals and leaves patients with a sense of fear in the first place! Any ideas people?

They promised to return to Jack later in the series so I’ve set up series record. The final say goes to Dr Lewis “there are lots of patients with complicated conditions, but there arent many Jacks”.

7 thoughts on “Meet Jack – Children’s Hospital

  1. I am fascinated with children and hospitals. When I was living in Bristol I volunteered for Radio Lollipop at the Bristol Children’s Hospital which was all about making life in hospital less scary and more like ‘normal’ life. The power of play giving children, and their parents, a break from the usual routines inside a hospital.

    Most of the kids we saw once and never again, but some of the kids with longer term health conditions we made bonds and formed relationships with. It was an amazing time and I miss it an awful lot.

    The best thing about it though was the statistic that requests for pain relief from the children went down by 80% when Lollipop volunteers were on their ward. Keep a child distracted and happy by simply playing with them, and they will be able to forget their pain.

  2. That pain relief statistic is something else…to me that’s a little shocking, if not surprising. I’m sure it would apply equally to adults too – the power of distraction therapy 😉

    Could you volunteer anywhere now or just too busy?

  3. I didn’t watch, but I did see the trailer. I spent a lot of time resident at Bristol Childrens Hospital which may explain my reluctance to view. The staff on the wards and in the specialist areas went out of their way to treat Clio with respect and to incorporate play and fun into her recovery times post ops and in out patients, even though they were so busy. Clio focuses on the bonds she made with staff and other patients from that time rather than the gruelling series of ops so she retains a positive association with the specialists who now treat her.

  4. 15 years ago Malcolm Lewis told me he would make my 10 month old baby better and he did. Amazing man then and now.

  5. I have just stumbled across this and have to say my daughter has been treated in Manchester since she was born in 2002 all the staff are amazing and true lifesavers I know deep down she would not be here now if it wasn’t for all the fantastic doctors, nurses and play specialists that have taken care of her over the years. She has been under Malcolm Lewis now for about 6 years and she adores him, as nice as all the staff servo have never met a doctor quite like him it almost feels as though he is an old friend or distant relative rather than her doctor. My daughter still has a fair way to go and an uphill battle ahead of her but I’m certain that with Malcolm in our corner we will come out the other end with a strong healthy girl. X

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