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Caring for kids in the hospital during COVID-19

(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 10:31 AM EDT
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(06/15/2020) -- The hospital can already be a scary place for many kids and even more so now with added hospital restrictions due to COVID-19. Ivanhoe share details on how one hospital is calming kids and getting them up and out of bed.

Ten-year-old Maya Rak loves gymnastics, but leg pain turned her world upside down.

“We thought that it was just from gymnastics because I do gymnastics every week,” explained Maya.

But an x-ray revealed something different.

“The x-ray told our pediatrician that there was a mass in her leg. There was a tumor. And, then it was confirmed that it was osteosarcoma bone cancer,” shared Rhoda Rak, Maya’s mother.

Getting treatment for Maya was critical and stopping treatment even during a pandemic was not an option.

“Essentially can’t be interrupted, even with COVID-19,” stated Elizabeth Hockey, MEd, PT, a clinical specialist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Children’s hospitals around the country have implemented restrictions, such as limiting the number of visitors to protect their most vulnerable patients. Also inpatients have been required to stay in their rooms.

“Being stuck in your room, the kids often times will just want to curl up in their bed for days at a time and not do anything,” continued Hockey.

So, instead, some patients are getting therapy straight in their rooms through augment therapy. It’s an interactive software that uses the medium of augmented and mixed reality to engage patients to perform therapeutic exercise.

“It’s not like any other therapy, it’s more like it’s a video game and it’s fun,” smiled Maya.

“It keeps them active. It keeps them going. That in itself will help keep them strong,” said Hockey.

And hopefully get them out of the hospital sooner.

Maya’s mom says augment therapy is really helping Maya get out of the hospital sooner. Right now, it is not available in all children’s hospitals. Elizabeth Hockey hopes to expand it to other kids soon.

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