American ER not same as ‘Edinburgh’s finest’

Noah Henderson. Picture: contributed
Noah Henderson. Picture: contributed
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The family of Jack Henderson, the boy whose drawings have raised more than £51,000 for the Sick Kids in Edinburgh, has again heaped praise on the hospital’s standard of care after a first experience of an American ER.

Jack, eight, set up his Jack Draws Anything campaign after his younger brother, Noah, now four, fell ill and became a frequent visitor to the Sick Kids. Jack’s work raises thousands and gets donations from around the world.

The Hendersons, from Prestonpans, have since moved to California, and had their first taste of an American emergency room when Noah, who had managed a record eight months of good health,
recently fell ill.

In a post titled We Miss You Sick Kids, Jack’s dad, Ed, blogged: “Last weekend we had our first experience of an American ER.

“Noah had managed to pick up pneumonia and, by Saturday 3am, his breathing deteriorated to the point where we rushed him to our local hospital. Thankfully, after good care and quick medicine, Noah is on the mend and out of hospital now.”

And while happy with Noah’s treatment, the family did bemoan the lack of books or toys available to keep children occupied.

Ed said: “As Noah was recovering he was super-bored as there was literally nothing to do in the ER for kids. Noah asked over and over for some books, crayons or toys. Then he asked to go to the other hospital with the toys. You can see by our own real-life example how important dedicated kids’ hospitals are. Especially
Edinburgh’s finest.”

The post then went on to encourage readers to donate to the facility.

Maureen Harrison, chief executive of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We’re very sorry to hear Noah has been unwell recently and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“It’s very difficult for the families of sick children when receiving treatment within a non-paediatric environment, especially when they have been cared for in a children’s hospital previously.

“It’s always lovely to hear appreciation from the families who benefit from our work and we are delighted to hear it made such a difference to Noah during his time at the hospital.”

Dorothy Hanley, chief nurse at the Sick Kids, said: “We know that the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and the staff who work there are highly regarded and we are very proud of that.

“We wish the family well and hope that Jack is still impressing people with his marvellous drawings.”

And Ed revealed that Jack has indeed garnered some new fans across the pond. He said: “Jack is the first Scottish child ever to attend his school so that already makes him quite unusual. He did a talk to the class where he explained about the fund-raising and showed them his book. They’ve all been on his website now and they think it’s really cool.

jen.lavery@edinburghnews.com