A mother whose little girl needed major lung surgery has been inspired to create a story book to reassure children visiting hospital.
Helen Sadler’s daughter Josephine had to undergo a series of operations when she was a toddler and so Helen teamed up with friend Audrey Fletcher-Price to create a booklet called ‘Monkey has an Operation’ to help explain in a child friendly way what the youngster could expect during hospital visits. The book was a hit with hospital staff and since then Audrey, from Eastbourne, and primary school teacher Helen, have been working hard to develop the idea. This has led to lesson plans called NHS Explorer Primary Resource packs being distributed to thousands of schools. The scheme was commissioned by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement after the pair met paediatric nurse Kath Evans at a conference who took a huge interest in their ideas. Helen has written the information for the packs - which includes Monkey’s guide to Healthy Living and NHS Services, film clips (with British Sign Language) and monkey puppets - while Audrey has designed them. The pack includes information to help children stay healthy at home and at school. Next month will see the official launch of the lesson plan project, which saw the friends recently come runner up at the Patient Experience National Awards in Setting the Stage and Strengthening the Foundation category.
Helen, from Glynde said, “If only one child per 19,057 schools doesn’t go unnecessarily to the emergency department it will save £1.2million. It’s been such good fun working on this.”
Her husband Daniel has designed a child-sized stuffed Monkey toy for the project. Monkey has appeared in film clips, is the main character in the story books Helen and Audrey have created and he has also been visiting children in hospital. To see a film clip go to: http://www.youtube.com/user/monkeysmission