As part of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Art and Healing program, which uses art to aid in patients’ healing process, several pediatric patients from Hamad General Hospital (HGH) and Rumailah Hospital (RH) were provided an opportunity to attend Disney Live Mickey’s Musical Festival in Doha held at the Qatar National Convention Center.
Many children invited to attend the musical festival are undergoing long-term medication and treatment at both hospitals, HGH and RH. The opportunity to take part in the festival allowed these patients a break in routine and an opportunity to be entertained.
About 54 patients, accompanied by their parents, siblings, as well as nurses from HGH and RH participated in this activity. During the festival, the patients were seen cheering on their favorite Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie, Daffy Duck, Goofy, Aladdin and the Genie, The Little Mermaid, and Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story. Several patients danced and swayed along the beats of the music through different performances, while clapping zealously and calling out the names of the characters from their seats.
A patient’s mother, who decided to join her children in the fun, shared in the excitement: “It was a lot of fun to attend this show with my children. The kids truly loved it and they were very excited to see all the Disney characters. We are thankful that HMC provided us with this opportunity to be a part of this activity. The children are feeling great and I see they have greater energy!”
The activity builds on the ambition of the Art and Healing program at HMC, established in partnership with UCL Qatar [a center of excellence for the study of cultural heritage, linked with Qatar Foundation], which believes art is a vital tool in smoothing the healing process for patients, especially children. In addition to feeling enthused, the brief change in their daily medical routine reflects in a heightened spirit and psychological enrichment.
“This kind of an activity is definitely enriching for the children who are receiving treatment at HMC hospitals. We are able to give them a reason to smile and feel happy as they are able to look beyond their illnesses for some time and just enjoy themselves,” said Dr. Mohammad Janahi, Chairman of Pediatrics at HMC.
Gilles Andre Gabel, Assistant Executive Director for Support Services at HGH and a key person behind the concept of the Art and Healing program, highlighted that such activities also provide the family a chance to help alleviate their child’s suffering and contribute to their overall well being.
“These kinds of activities make the families understand that the hospital services and care is not just limited to the doctor and patient relationship. The hospital can also extend and go beyond this and help to provide support in a different way,” Gabel noted.
Prior to the Disney outing, Mickey and Minnie found their way to selected pediatric units at HGH and were able to surprise some patients in their rooms. As the characters walked in through the door, the children along with the nurses shrieked with extreme joy. Many children rushed to cuddle the characters and have their photographs taken. Some, including cancer patients, waved to the characters from their beds, smiling radiantly.
Francis Joy, staff nurse in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, said, “The visit is a great idea – these children get to see their favourite cartoon characters in the hospital, right by their bed. The only time most of them have seen these characters is in the cartoons they watch on their iPads.”
Previously, through the program, pediatric patients were able to attend the Disney on Ice show in June 2013 and visited the Museum of Islamic Art in January this year. Other events included: story-telling sessions, puppet show at the units, and magic shows wherein the staff were given training to learn some magic tricks.
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Hamad Medical Corporation
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