A dream came true for many children and parents when George Hospital cut the ribbon in front of its own dream room this week.
The Reach For A Dream Foundation and the Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) sponsored a television, PS4 device with games, toys and a cozy book corner so that children’s imaginations can have free rein. The room was unveiled on Thursday.
“Children in the hall will not only be surprised by the dream room, but also a safe place where they can play outside – accessible to all sick children,” says Nadia Ferreira, spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Health in the Garden Route. and Central Karoo districts. “It is a place that is sunny and bright with a balcony where the parents will be able to sit and watch their children enjoy the facilities.”
Johan la Grange, pediatrician at the George Hospital, says that in a sad and sick time in a child’s life, the Dream Room will help them feel exactly the opposite. “It is full of life and hope and is a safe haven where they can create happy memories and dream. We want to bring a little light into a very dark world. A dream room can play the same role in a child’s life.”
The pediatric clinic at George Hospital handles an average of between 20 and 40 outpatients per day. “This does not include the number of children in our ward, high care unit, neonatal unit and casualties where the numbers rise to between 40 and 50 children per day and more,” adds La Grange.
When he looks back on his 12 years at the George Hospital as a paediatrician, there have been numerous cases where children have lost their lives due to an incurable or chronic illness. “As a pediatrician who looks after these patients, you know that many of these children had dreams. The Reach For A Dream Foundation makes these dreams possible.”
Sister Cynthia Korthom, operations manager C-Ground at the George hospital, says that for her the aim is to offer the vulnerable, sometimes disadvantaged children who come to the hospital, the opportunity to enjoy a day of fun that overcomes the challenges that they experience in the hospital, can relieve. “These very sick children with incurable diseases have one day where they are happy and smiling. Not only does the Reach For A Dream Foundation inspire these children, but they also touch the hearts and lives of the parents and medical staff.”
La Grange emphasizes how most of these sick children have simple wishes: to enjoy lamb chops or have a Spider-Man party. “It affects you as an adult when you see how simple their wishes are and what makes them happy in a place where they are very sick.”
The Dream Room is also a reminder for the staff at George Hospital that there are many things they can do to make the children happy, even if there is not much they can do medically.