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Monday, 6 September 2010

Celebs publish their experiences of Kingston Hospital

Do you remember going into hospital as a child and how scary it all seemed?

So does Kingston Hospital and that is why the hospital has launched a campaign to help children to feel more comfortable when coming into the hospital for treatment. Here are just a couple. . . . .

Zac Goldsmith’s bike ride to hospital adventure!

I was only three years old, so my memory is both sketchy and no doubt distorted. But the fear of being in a vast hospital, surrounded by strangers, not a familiar face in sight, was very real.

I had fallen off my bicycle, and whereas that normally doesn’t require a hospital visit, in my case, I had built up such speed, that when the front wheel hit a brick, the bike performed a somersault, and a small metal bar associated with the stabiliser wheels of the bike somehow lodged itself in my chin.

I don’t remember the pain, or the fall. But I do remember my local GP explaining to my mother that he was unable to stitch up the hole, and that I needed to go to Kingston hospital.

That in itself wasn’t alarming. I’d never been to a hospital before – at least not since I was born. But as the car pulled up, and for the first time I was able to see the sheer scale of the hospital, combined with the fact that I was being taken away from my mother by a man I’d never seen before, I was utterly terrified.

I’m sure I howled. My mother probably wanted to as well. But after the treatment, which I cannot remember, I was taken on by a nurse, whose only role, it seemed to me, was to be kind and to make me believe I was a hero. This despite having crashed a bicycle in the vicious pursuit of my innocent sister.

I was returned to a hospital bed, where my mother presented me with a toy car. It became my favourite. With a bandage covering my entire head, and with painkillers to mask the pain, I really did believe I was a legitimate hero, and when I finally returned home the next morning, I’m pleased to say that the rest of my family and friends agreed. A silver lining to a traumatic time.

Jacqueline Wilson’s hospital ice-cream, nightie and secret cuddle hanky!

I had to go into Kingston Hospital when I was six to have my tonsils out. This was a very l-o-n-g time ago, when hospitals were very different places, and your mum and dad couldn't come and visit you. I remember being very anxious about it, though I was excited too, because my Mum had bought me a pretty new nightie - with a rosebud pattern, and a brand new doll with long fair plaits. I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep this new doll in bed with me - and I worried too that I wouldn't be able to use my secret cuddle hankie when I went to sleep at night. Thank goodness the nurses were all very kind and talked to my doll as if she was a real person, and no-one laughed or called me a baby when I held my hankie over my nose at night! I was in a ward with about seven other children. I made friends with the little girl next to me, and the boys in the beds opposite were so funny and naughty they made us giggle. I can't remember too much about my operation itself because I was put to sleep, but when I woke up I had a sore throat. The nurses were very kind and comforting and gave me ice-cream to eat for a treat.

Nowadays the nurses are just as kind and caring, and the doctors are gentle and try their hardest to make you better. Your family can come and see you as often as you want, and your brothers and sisters can perhaps come and play in the very special Momentum playground. Of course it's not really FUN being in hospital, because you don't feel well and your treatment can sometimes be uncomfortable, but everyone does their best to make you better as soon as possible.

I've been back to Kingston Hospital many times since that first long-ago visit. I had my daughter Emma in the maternity ward - and I've visited my father and several dear friends when they've been ill. Nowadays I go to the hospital twice a year for check ups on my heart - and I also sometimes visit children having treatment - so you might just see me there!
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 3:41 pm  

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