It’s a pirate’s life for Molly as she launches new St John’s play area

A brand new pirate-themed soft play room in the children’s ward at St John’s Hospital, Livingston was officially opened on Monday (16 April 2012), eight months after a fundraising drive to refurbish the area was launched by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

Little Molly McDermott was first through the door, after months of asking when the play room would be reopened. The five-year-old from Livingston has a respiratory condition and has been a frequent visitor to the ward over the past year.

In a bid to help Molly and her fellow patients in the ward, the Sick Kids Friends Foundation raised a staggering £13,000 for the new soft play room, with help from several West Lothian donors, including Ethicon in the Community.

Maureen Harrison, Chief Executive of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have been able to provide a new upgraded soft play area at the children’s ward at St John’s Hospital. We know how much the patients appreciated the old equipment. This area gives the children some fun which is very important in aiding successful recovery. I would like to thank Ethicon in the Community and everyone who has donated to this project and helped us to provide such a lovely pirate play area for the children in the ward.”

Little Molly said she was “really happy” to be able to use the play area again. 

She added: “I’ve been staring through the glass every time I have visited the ward, I’m so excited the play room is open. And it is good that my little sister Megan can be with me in there as she misses playing with me when I am in hospital. It’s so much fun, I’m really happy."
Sister Lynn Haddow, who is in charge of the children’s ward, said: “It makes such a difference to the children in the ward and their siblings to be able to use the area again and we are all very excited about our lovely new play area. Having an opportunity for some exercise allows us to observe how good their movement is,  will aid their recovery and help keep them entertained and active.”

The campaign for the new room got off to a flying start last year when when Livingston-based surgical care company Ethicon donated £4,000 to the cause.

The new play room is a multi-age group area, suitable for toddlers right up to 16-year-olds.

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NOTES TO EDITOR:

The children’s ward at St John’s Hospital is managed through the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. In 2009, The Sick Kids Friends Foundation donated £112,000 towards the extension of the Outpatients 3 waiting area at St John’s. The £180,000 facility, which took four years to plan and develop, is home to an expanded play zone and consulting space which helps to take the boredom and anxiety out of attending outpatient appointments.

The Sick Kids Friends Foundation helps sick children get better by funding extra medical equipment, improving facilities, financing specialised research and training and providing a wide variety of extra comforts for young patients and their families at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, other health centres in the East of Scotland and in the Community. For more information please visit www.edinburghsickkids.org

17/04/2012