Prince Charles visits Great Ormond Street Hospital
19:45 21 February 2013
Prince Charles met children being treated for cancer and epilepsy at Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh) today.
The Prince of Wales toured the wards of Gosh, and visited the hospital’s playrooms.
Six-year-old Joseph Black, who is being treated for neuroblastoma, donned a toy crown for the special occasion. There was also a copy of The Old Man Of Lochnagar, written by the Prince, on the playroom table to make the royal feel more at home.
Prince Charles asked Joseph, from Muswell Hill, if he was “being looked after” and took an interest in the little boy’s love of toy models.
He said to Joseph: “I used to do those when I was your age too. I’d get my things covered in glue.”
Joseph’s father, Jeremy, said: “It was really nice to see him. He comes across as a very warm individual. He was really interested in talking to Joseph and was able to hold a conversation with him - which I struggle with myself!”
At one point in the visit Prince Charles pulled up a child-sized chair to chat to epilepsy patient Katie Tuffin, eight, who was admitted to the ward yesterday.
On being handed a tub of Play-Doh, the royal took out the green dough and promptly got to work rolling it out with a grooved rolling pin.
Prince Charles seemed all too aware of the mess that can be made when Katie told him that her five-year-old brother, Oliver, mixes up the Play-Doh colours.
He asked her: “You get annoyed by that, do you? Does he grind it into the carpet?”
When Katie admitted that the siblings “sometimes” fight, the Prince gave a wry smile and said: “It tends to happen, doesn’t it.”
Katie’s verdict of the royal visitor was that he was “kind, friendly and good at Play-Doh”.
Jenni Hallman, Gosh’s complimentary therapy nurse specialist, who works in the suite refurbished by the Sunflower Jam charity, spoke to Prince Charles about her massage work on patients.
She said: “The complimentary therapy programme at Gosh, which is funded by charitable support, is only in its infancy but is already getting really positive feedback from our patients and their parents.
“The Prince was very interested to hear about how the children are benefiting from the therapy, including ways it’s helping them to relax, sleep and how it can often be a distraction from the pain of their treatment.”
The programme, supported by the Barcapel Foundation, has provided treatment for more than 250 children so far.