PAT Stories

Andy Price & Lola

“As a volunteer, nothing can be more rewarding than providing those rays of sunshine and life-long memories for the families and children. Above all, the beaming smiles makes it all worthwhile!”

Andy Price has been a PAT Volunteer at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) since 2018 and every visit brings joy. “Nothing is more rewarding than the smiles Lola brings around the hospital,” Andy explains. “She is an incredibly placid nine-year-old Shih Tzu cross and has the unique ability to enjoy being held like a baby for cuddles and strokes.”

Lola's lending paw
Every week Lola’s visit sick children in the wards and also spends time with outpatients. “She goes to cancer and intensive care wards and we see the best smiles. She can encourage a child to get out of bed for a walk. She helps them overcome any nerves before an MRI scan. She’s around if someone is anxious about a blood test. Holding Lola’s paw always helps.”

Lola has also been there for siblings of patients. “She’ll play with a brother or sister in a corridor so that a mum and dad can have the freedom to spend a final moment with a sick child. She’s even had a seat reserved for her at a funeral when a three-year-old boy sadly passed from cancer. That was because Lola had become such an important part of his life at GOSH.”

Rob Delaney remembers a special bond
Loving Lola is also mentioned in A Heart That Works, a book written by American comedian and actor, Rob Delaney. Lola spent time with Rob’s son Henry, who was only a year old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He died aged two.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Rob said: “I wish you could have seen the smile on Henry’s face when they brought in a little therapy dog one day. He was totally bald from chemo with all sorts of tubes sticking out of him and I undid them all and put him on the floor when the dog came in and he was just ecstatic. It was the most powerful expression of human joy I’ve ever seen…. I’ve never seen joy – it’s a dog on a paediatric cancer ward. It was just so magical.”

Rob writes in his book: “Thank you, sweet Lola and Lola’s friend, a wonderful volunteer who brought her in their free time to meet kids dying of cancer.”

 

 

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