Monday 6th October will see the launch of a great partnership, as the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity take over the funding of the Play Therapy team at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales. With patients and staff coming together to celebrate the Play team in a week long programme, the Monday will see a Balloon party and a display of some of the teams services.

The Play Therapy team are a major part of the day to day running of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital. They are based on each ward and work with the patients and staff to assist with treatment, explain procedures to the patients and provide a listening ear for any concerns the patients and family may have.

Courtney Williams, 17 from Barry has been a regular at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales since it opened back in 2005.

Courtney was taken ill at just two weeks old, when she was unable to keep feeds down mum Ceri took her to the hospital where they discovered her oxygen levels were low. When Courtney failed to respond to treatment for Bronchitis and pneumonia, further text were run showing Courtney had Cystic Fibrosis.

A strong support system for Courtney and her entire family has been the Play therapy team, in particular Polly Smith, who was with the family when Courtney was originally diagnosed remaining a part of their treatment team for 17 years. Ceri said; “from day one Polly has been there, and not just for Courtney but for the whole family”

Courtney has two siblings Olivia, 11 and Jordan, 20. Both find Courtney’s illness difficult in different ways. While Olivia misses her mum and sister when they stay in the hospital, Jordan is very protective of Courtney.

Growing up with Cystic Fibrosis has brought many difficulties for Cortney, but Play Therapist Polly has been there throughout to support her. Courtney became needle phobic, however with Polly’s support the medical team have always been able to complete procedures needed. “Courtney would not have needles without Polly there. Polly is fantastic she would always make an effort to be with Courtney to support her with her treatments, even staying in her own personal time after her shift was over.

They built up a great relationship, Courtney really trusts her any troubled times and Polly would be able to talk her around.”

This is just one example of the fantastic work carried out at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital by the whole team.

Suzanne Mainwaring, Director of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity said; “We are so thrilled and proud to be able to support this service, and as the official charity, we work incredibly hard to raise the vital funds needed to continue to be there for the ongoing needs of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales.”

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