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Teddybears have since 2007 been donated by Trygfonden for children undergoing complex treatments at Danish hospitals. Here, two teddybears are accompanying Elisabet through proton therapy at the Danish Centre for Particle Therapy.

20.07.2021

The Trygfonden Family House is located right next to the Danish Centre for Particle Therapy and Aarhus University Hospital. Paediatric patients and their families can stay here while undergoing treatment, and a group of volunteers help to ensure that the children have positive experiences outside their treatment.

A young girl named Elisabet and her family have travelled from the Baltic States to Denmark to receive proton therapy at the Danish Centre for Particle Therapy. For every treatment, Elisabet’s essential companions are two teddy polarbears. The teddybears have their regular seats at the end of the treatment couch while Elisabet receives proton therapy. Elisabet have named the bears Bella and Julius, and she has selected their clothing herself from garments made by hand by volunteers from the Family House of Trygfonden.

Patient care at the Danish Centre for Particle Therapy revolves around ensuring that each individual patient feels safe and comfortable – and often, the radiation therapists, doctors and physicists will go one step further for children receiving proton therapy. There is a special area at the centre designated for children, where play is key in helping the youngest patients understand what the treatment entails for them.

Elisabeth receives her treatment wearing a radiotherapy mask and without anaesthesia. With teddy bears around her, a quick ‘one-two-three’ and a thumbs up from Elisabet, and then she’s ready.

Comfort and stability far from home
Elisabet and her mother walk every day from the Family House to the Danish Centre for Particle Therapy, a walk of approximately 20 minutes. They like to have a look around outside, and have also been visiting the art museum ARoS in the city of Aarhus, where a trip to the rooftop rainbow panorama was memorable. Elisabet has also started rehabilitation during their stay, which has given a basis for returning back home.

Elisabet’s mother explains that a small gesture such as the teddybears provides comfort and stability for her daughter at each treatment session and even at night, when they are staying at the Family House. Arriving in Aarhus just before the treatment started, they did not have the possibility to bring many belongings from home.

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Due to the high precision beam, it is very important that patients lie still during proton therapy. The teddybears also help Elisabet to stay calm and still during her treatment sessions in addition to listening to stories in her native language. 

The Family House is a safe haven for the family during their stay of several weeks, far from home. The many initiatives from the volunteers have mattered a great deal; some volunteers have been baking, gardening, playing and even creating the clothes for the teddybears. The mother explains that fun hospital clowns, a magician and an ice cream truck particularly made a big hit for Elisabet during this Summer period. And the option of activities such as colouring books and an enclosed playground makes the waiting time between treatments a lot easier, especially during a difficult time of disease.

The radiation therapists at DCPT, Rikke and Simon, explain how they also enjoy the extra companions that help Elisabet go through her treatment, as this stresses the importance of supporting patients in their individual needs. ”Tak!” says Elisabet happily, thanking the RT’s in Danish, and bringing Bella and Julius along as today’s treatment is complete.  

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