Wii delight for young patients

The phrase “on the first day of Christmas, my doctor gave to me, a donated Wii console” may not have the same ring to it as the traditional holiday carol.

But the line-change is unlikely to bother children treated at Mercy University Hospital in Cork City who, over the coming weeks, will benefit from some well-deserved Christmas cheer.

As part of the Mercy Foundation charity wing, grateful former patients donated €5,000 to the hospital earlier this year to help improve the facilities in the paediatrics unit and other child services.

Like Santa Claus himself, the multiple donors’ whereabouts will be wrapped in mystery, while a hospital spokesperson declined to confirm who provided the funds.

However, the anonymous benefactors’ big-hearted gesture will mean the thousands of children treated at the hospital — including those over the Christmas period — being able to gain some enjoyment from their enforced medical stay.

In the process, they have been able to access the hospital’s newly purchased Nintendo Wiis and new ward TVs and consoles, among other gifts — making them feel a little more at home over the holidays.

“The hospital is grateful for the continued support of the MUH foundation, which allowed us to purchase equipment to make young patients’ stay as pleasant as possible,” explained the facility’s patient liaison officer Josephine Griffin.

“We are always so aware of the stress families undergo when their children attend a hospital, and this is part of our continued commitment to patient care being central to the MUH ethos,” she added.

Under the donation plan, a handful of Nintendo Wiis have been made available in the St Anne’s children’s ward.

The facility’s emergency department has also been given a console previously held in the children’s unit in addition to smaller hand-held devices, while a new TV and a selection of DVDs were also provided for the children’s section this week.

The €5,000 funding for the equipment is part of a €250,000 MUH foun-dation donation to the facility’s children’s and leukaemia units in recent years, including a €100,000 allocation to redevelop wards in 2009.

In addition, the foundation has recently made a €1.1m contribution towards the hospital’s new CT centre and state of the art scanners to help diagnose cancer patients and people with other serious medical problems.

Just over 4,000 children are admitted to MUH’s emergency department every year, with more than 3,000 subsequently undergoing day or inpatient care.

Among the children treated at the hospital are those suffering from leukaemia, neurological conditions, physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as youngsters with surgical problems.


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