“The Play Team are so special….every day they gave Samuel a lift”
Six-year-old Samuel is currently on treatment for a brain tumour, having been diagnosed in February of this year. After episodes of sickness, and an admission to Wythenshawe Hospital, a scan showed he had a tumour.
He was immediately taken to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and three days later underwent an operation to remove the tumour. During this time it was discovered Samuel had medulloblastoma – a very aggressive form of childhood brain cancer. And although it is rare, it is the most common form of brain cancer in children.
Samuel initially spent more than four months in our children’s hospital. He’s now well enough to be back at his family home in Altrincham, although he comes into hospital regularly to receive chemotherapy treatment.
While in hospital, Samuel found the environment difficult and didn’t want to engage with doctors. But it was the amazing staff in the Play Team who really made Samuel’s hospital stays special.
Mum Jess said: “Samuel hated having his dressing changed – he would scream the place down. On one dressing change Triona from the Play Team came to help because he was hysterically upset. She talked him down and they were able to do it with absolutely no fuss. Since then he’s been much better having his dressing changed, whether that’s in hospital or by the community nurses.
“The Play Team are so special because on a day-to-day basis they’re around to give him a little lift.”
Samuel has also made some happy memories of his time in hospital, playing on the rooftop play area – even being given permission to go there with a friend from school.
“The rooftop is a huge thing for children,” said Jess. “Going up there was the only access to the outdoors Samuel could have in those four months of hospital.
“Getting up there was amazing for Samuel. And the Play Team would promise playtime on the roof to incentivise him.
“At Easter one of his friends from school came to visit and Triona asked if they’d like to go to the roof. She took them up so he could play with his friend and it made such a huge difference. He was given the ability to be a normal kid again.”
Hospital admissions are still very much part of Samuel’s life and over the next five years he will monitored very closely while going through his chemotherapy cycles. However, it’s likely he will receive some kind of monitoring for the rest of his life as high doses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy can have longer term effects on children.
“From the minute we arrived Samuel has received exceptional care and has always been made to feel safe and at home in hospital,” said Jess. “We feel we couldn’t have been anywhere better.”
Samuel’s teachers were so moved by the care he received they took part in a charity run and raised more than £2,000 for our Charity. Can you also help us this Christmas? Click the button below to make a donation and help more children like Samuel have special memories of hospital, thanks to your kind gift of play.
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About Manchester Foundation Trust Charity
Manchester Foundation Trust Charity supports continuing excellence in treatment, research and care in our family of hospitals across Manchester and Trafford, comprising:
Manchester Royal Infirmary | Wythenshawe Hospital | Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
Manchester Royal Eye Hospital | Saint Mary’s Hospital | Manchester University Dental Hospital
Withington Community Hospital | Trafford General Hospital | Altrincham Hospital
North Manchester General Hospital
As a charity our mission is simple: to support the excellence in treatment, research and care we provide to the 2.5 million patients who are treated by our hospitals each year. We want to make a real difference to the people we treat – young and old – by making sure that they continue to receive the very best treatment in the very best facilities.
Your support today could make a real and lasting difference this Christmas and all year round.