Violet is a liver transplant recipient and has been cared for at Leeds Children’s Hospital for the past five years.

Violet’s journey with a lifelong medical condition began at birth and she has had some very difficult experiences which have left her struggling with procedural anxiety, particularly around blood tests. The Leeds Hospitals Charity funded ‘Play Team’ at Leeds Children’s Hospital have contributed so much to Violet’s care.

Play leader Neoma has worked closely with Violet to try and find ways to help her cope with her necessary blood tests and Violet’s anxiety before and during blood tests is finally starting to ease.

This has been the result of a lot of carefully thought out hard work from dedicated, caring staff who use specialist resources with their wealth of experience and knowledge to find out what works best for each individual child.

From keeping Violet occupied and happy during long hospital stays, using roleplay to educate her about necessary surgeries and procedures, to helping her take ownership of her experiences. Play has been vital in helping Violet gain confidence and independence in managing and accepting her lifelong health condition.

 Violet’s mum Helen told us “Play in hospital really is so much more than ‘just play’ and for many children, the Play Team are an essential part of medical care. On its own, a paper plate can’t turn an anxious child into a brave lion, but in the hands of a Play Specialist it definitely can!”