Giggle Doctors really are special doctors. With humour and imagination, they cheer up not only the little patients but also their parents, siblings and the nursing staff. The artistes of the Theodora Foundation do all they can to make children’s eyes light up and bring magical moments to hospital wards and specialist institutions for disabled children. And they do it every day.
As a partner of the Theodora Foundation, we support the valuable work of the Giggle Doctors. With this partnership, Helsana plays a role in enabling more than 8,000 children to enjoy a few carefree moments each month. That means 100,000 children in hospitals and specialist institutions all over Switzerland enjoy visits from Giggle Doctors.
Visits from Giggle Doctors also cheer up the parents of children in hospital. In two short videos, Daniela Corbaz and Sandra Krebser share their experiences of the Giggle Doctors’ visits. Both she and her children remember them fondly. “When you see how your child, lying in a hospital bed, suddenly starts to laugh again and looks happy, it warms your heart,” says Daniela Corbaz.
“The Giggle Doctors’ visits also did me good.” Daniela Corbaz’s daughter spent a week at the children’s hospital.
Sandra Krebser is the mother of six-year-old twins. She appreciates the Giggle Doctors’ visits. “They give everyone hope and are important.” Her son has to go regularly to hospital.
They visit children who are sick, in pain or living with a disability. The ‘doctors’, known as Pönk, Hatschi and Tiramisù talk about their own personal magic moments working with children. And they explain why being a Giggle Doctor is not just a job to them, but a vocation.
«The little girl was in pain and frightened, but then she laughed and started moving.» Nina Wägli, a.k.a. Dr. Pönk, has been a Giggle Doctor for six years.
«I love improvising and responding to the children’s needs.» Rolf Jaisli, a.k.a. Dr. Hatschi, a Giggle Doctor for 21 years.
«It's wonderful when we can use imagination to distract a child from their illness.» Claudia Aldini, a.k.a. Dr. Tiramisù, a Giggle Doctor for six years.
How do you become a Giggle Doctor? We accompanied aspiring Giggle Doctors during their year-long training and found out more about what it takes to do their job.
A sought-after job: the 22 artistes currently undergoing training were selected from 350 applicants.
For the trainees, it’s the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream. Before they can start their new jobs as Giggle Doctors, they undergo a year of intensive preparation. As well as role-play activities, ‘Dr. Lilu’ and ‘Dr. Kravat’ and their classmates also learn the basics of hospital hygiene and important information about medical conditions and the psychological development of children.
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