Henry sitting in a hospital chair with a Smiley Scope virtual reality device
Posted 18 Dec 2023
Henry is a bright, busy little boy, who is a regular visitor at Flinders Medical Centre.

Henry's nursing team is always looking for new ways to make him feel comfortable and calm, providing the best possible care when he needs it most.

Through generous donations, we have been able to fund special initiatives and innovative technology at Flinders Medical Centre, helping patients like Henry by making hospital a better, brighter place for kids.

Henry’s story

Henry was just four years old when he was diagnosed with a rare eye condition – vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC), a severe allergic reaction where tiny lumps form in the tissue under his eyelids and scratch the corneal lining.

This was the beginning of Henry’s long hospital journey of admissions, regular appointments and treatments, all of which has been easier and less uncomfortable, thanks to our supporters.

Henry’s immunology treatment means painful injections every three weeks. These needles, while small, are inserted into the back of the arm, and a large amount of fluid must be injected. Henry tried to be brave, but after a few weeks, he became needle phobic.

“Every time we were going to the hospital, it was getting worse and worse. Just talking about going to hospital the next day or picking him up from school early, he knew he was going to have injections, and it was really traumatic. He wasn’t sleeping, he was anxious all the time, it was horrendous,” said Natalie, Henry’s mum.

Flinders Foundation helps create moments of joy

The treatment team at Flinders worked hard to help Henry and reduce his anxiety.

Henry’s team arranged a quiet space for him, had fewer people in the treatment room and less people speaking at a time. But Natalie says she will never forget the day immunology nurse Amanda suggested the Smileyscope – technology directly funded by our generous supporters.

The Smileyscope is a virtual reality technology headset which enables our smallest patients to watch incredible 3D videos during treatments or procedures.

Henry was able to choose which video he wanted to watch, so he was in control of the experience from the very beginning, something that makes a big difference for children who need treatment. Henry chose an underwater scene, which has been his favourite ever since.

“The difference in Henry was simply phenomenal. I still remember his nurse, Amanda looking over at me and I was nearly in tears. Henry just sat through the injections, hardly moving, hardly making a sound, just saying, ‘ouch, ouch’, but not pulling away and not having to be held down.

“It was such a moment of relief, going from the heartbreak of watching your child in distress, to have it change instantly was amazing.”

This is just one of the ways you can help provide the best possible care when children and families need it most.

A wish from Henry's Mum

“What I wish for all kids like Henry is that they can still be kids, and going to hospital is not a shadow hanging over them.

“Anything you can do to help Flinders Foundation ease the impact of treatment for kids like Henry, so they are not overwhelmed, would be so appreciated. The wonderful things we have from Flinders Foundation make a huge difference to families and children. Thank you for supporting my family and my little boy!”

Natalie – Henry's Mum

We want to bring comfort to more kids like Henry while they are in hospital.

The compassion of our supporters has the power to transform lives.

Be the hero in their story

You can become an architect of better beginnings; an ambassador of brighter futures.

With your help, the doctors and nurses at Flinders Medical Centre can continue to provide the best care to children and their families, in the best environment.

Support kids and families. Donate today


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