Eight-year-old Pollyanna had to spend 105 days, including Christmas and New Year, in the Royal Victoria Infirmary while she recovered from her life saving bone marrow transplant. Her mum, Claudine, spoke to us about the difference MediCinema made at this difficult time:
'When Pollyanna was in the Bubble, she couldn’t leave the room until her neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) started coming up to a certain level. She was in the room for around five weeks and being able to look forward to seeing a film when she was allowed to leave was amazing.
'Once Pollyanna was in "purple isolation”, she could leave the Bubble and the first thing she did was go to MediCinema. She was so excited to receive her magic ticket!
'Since that day, we were able to access MediCinema as a family on the weekends and it was something wonderful to look forward to. We spent Christmas and New Year away from home, much to the disappointment of the girls, so seeing lovely Christmas films helped to alleviate sadness and sorrow. I remember watching “Mary Poppins Returns” and Pollyanna was not only counting the sleeps till the film, but has been singing the songs ever since!
'Pollyanna loves going to the cinema and after such a horrid year, we finally could make some lovely memories of watching films together. One of the most memorable moments was when Pollyanna saw another child who looked like her in the MediCinema. While in the Bubble, Pollyanna wasn’t allowed to come into contact with other children and even though we were telling her that the other nine kids in the unit had no hair and wore masks and had nasogastric tubes in, she didn’t believe us. It was quite special when she saw another child like her.
'We returned to Leeds on 14th Jan 2019, after 105 days of being away from home. Consultants told us she probably won’t remember much of her time at RVI. We will, but she will remember our exciting trips to MediCinema, and we will all fondly remember our MediCinema friends, who were warm and welcoming and looked after us during each of our visits to the cinema.
'Please donate whatever you can, as MediCinema could make such a difference to critically ill children. It gives a few hours of joy to everyone attending, who are usually having a really awful time. We miss MediCinema, it made a huge difference to Pollyanna and all of us during our time in hospital.'
Claudine, Pollyanna’s mum