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Max the Gladiator

Dr Wobble and Dr O’Dear take on Max the Gladiator!

Dr Wobble and Dr O’Dear take on Max the Gladiator!

A fall on the driveway doesn’t normally land in you in the Burns Unit in hospital, but for 4-year-old Max, that’s exactly what happened.

Max, or Maximus as he is called (yes after the gladiator) is one tough cookie. Falls are a part of life and even his Mum Jessica wasn’t overly concerned when Max tripped and grazed his hand. As mum to two active boys, Jessica knows grazes are a part of life and so she disinfected and dressed the injury immediately.

However, a couple of days later, the innocuous graze had turned into one spectacular blister, which unbeknown to all, was actually a friction burn.

It’s not hard to imagine the response any child would have to painful blistering, but one serious enough to send you to the Burns Unit, needing to be “deroofed” (yes, it’s as bad as it sounds), is likely not the usual expectation of most parents.

Max ended up needing several trips to the Burns Unit but was an absolute rockstar, according to Jessica.

“What do you do with a child who is scared, in pain and bored, as you wait for the pain medication to kick in before a procedure?

“As a parent you have choices. You can pull out the phone or iPad, and let’s face it, who hasn’t done that… You can reach for the back-up toys and books in your bag, but nothing beats human interaction, and this is where Dr Wobble and Dr O’Dear came to our rescue. They are an invaluable diversion and comfort for children who are scared, hurting and often bored during necessary hospital treatment!

“They are just such beautiful humans! We called them our ‘boredom busters’, they were just so sensitive to everyone’s needs. As a parent it is wonderful to watch your child truly being nourished by someone other than yourself during challenging times. In doing so, the Clown Doctors were helping me, as much as they were helping my child.

“The Burns Unit is a confronting place to be. At first, I felt quite guilty as my child was nowhere near as badly injured as some of the kids in hospital, but the Clown Doctors were happy to interact with everyone. After Dr O’Dear visited us, I heard him playing a soothing song on the ukulele discreetly in the room next door. I could hear and feel through the wall the magic of it calming the baby’s pain. It was lovely.

“Max and I had never seen the Clown Doctors before – they are just so darn funny! They are also very sensitive, to Max’s needs, to mine, and also the doctors and nurses, of which there seemed to be a small army. They were present, but never in the way. The seemed to know exactly what a child would respond to and had an endless supply of toys in their colourful coats. The experience will definitely help with his perception of hospitals and medical care in the future.

“In a stressful setting when you are genuinely concerned for your child, the lightness of their interactions is a relief and an absolute pleasure. If the Clown Doctors hadn’t been there, our hospital visits would have been much more difficult, and our hearts wouldn’t have smiled those days.

Thank you for making us remember to smile when we least expected to do so.”