McMaster Children’s Hospital receives lots of toy donations before Christmas so patients aren’t forgotten while they’re getting care. This year, some staff in the respiratory unit combed through those donations so they could find just the right doll and alter it to look just like a patient, 15 year-old Victoria.
Victoria has been eating and breathing through a tube since she was four months old. Now she is learning how to take care of her tracheostomy herself, using the doll as a teaching tool. She’s learning how to suction her own trach and flush her own feeding tube. She has to have a nurse with her at all times but she’d like to gain some independence.
It takes eight weeks for anyone to learn how to take care of a trach and Victoria’s mom, Stephanie was worried about her missing to much school, so therapists from Hamilton are going to come to Port Colborne and do some of those lessons at Victoria’s high school.
The therapists say the highlight of their year was the look on Victoria’s face when she saw her new doll.