Search

Story helps children battle illness

PUBLISHED: 01:00 07 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

A HEARTWARMING story about Liam the Lion is helping children and parents at Ipswich Hospital learn more about leukaemia.

Play specialist Julie Wood who works with children and their families at the children's centre in the hospital, wrote the inspirational book and her colleague Siobhan Chapman drew the illustrations.

A HEARTWARMING story about Liam the Lion is helping children and parents at Ipswich Hospital learn more about leukaemia.

Play specialist Julie Wood who works with children and their families at the children's centre in the hospital, wrote the inspirational book and her colleague Siobhan Chapman drew the illustrations.

Julie said: "I hope that Liam's story will help parents to talk to their children about leukaemia in a way that is comfortable for both."

The inspiration to write the book stemmed form the lack of any other books written for five-year-olds about leukaemia.

She added: "Children understand more through play and by listening to or reading stories. We searched everywhere to find books for small children about the illness and when we drew a blank, I thought I would have a go myself."

The illustrations in the book can be coloured in by children, and show how Liam and his brother Dill live at Dublin Zoo with their mum and dad, and keeper Joe.

The story focuses on how Liam becomes very tired with aching legs and bruises. He is so tired he wants to sleep a lot and doesn't eat his meals. Keeper Joe notices this and brings a friend who knows all about lions. Liam has a blood test and hears the word leukaemia.

It reads: "Liam asked his dad what leukaemia was. Dad explained that everybody's blood was made up of lots of different cells and that they all had a special job to do which helps us to keep well. Dad told Liam that one of the set of cells was growing too quickly and so the others didn't have enough room to grow properly and this was why he was feeling tired, had aching legs, and bruised paws.

"The good news was he could have some medicine to help make him better

so he could play games again with Dill."

Liam then goes to the Lion Hospital for treatment and has to have a line called a 'wiggly' put in his paw. This is to receive the medicine he needs so that he could look forward to playing games with his brother Dill again, and become the biggest, strongest lion in the zoo.

'Wiggly' is the name staff use at the hospital to describe a Hickman line to children.

The new book is already proving to be a big hit at the hospital.

Jackie Harrop, children's services manager at the hospital, said: "It's a beautiful book which is helping children and families know more about this illness.

"We are all very proud of Julie and Siobhan for producing it."

The book was printed free of charge by O'Sullivan Printing Corporation.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists