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Woody and Buzz Lightyear are an x ray of light for children in Crumlin

You’ve got a friend in me! That’s the message that Woody, Buzz Lightyear and all the Toy Story crew have for children facing the daunting prospect of getting an x-ray at Crumlin Hospital.

Last year, an idea from Dr Aisling Snow, the hospital’s Consultant Radiologist, to help explain and detraumatise the X-ray process, which for many children can bring about high levels of anxiety and stress, sparked an initiative in conjunction with Disney Ireland and creative giants BBDO Dublin.

The initiative featuring X-ray images of Disney Pixar’s Toy Story characters placed on the walls of the hospital’s department has already been a huge success, according to Dr Snow.

“The idea started off when we were doing the daily test on the X-ray machines. We usually put in whatever is lying around, like a bunch of keys, or, because it’s a children’s hospital, some toys. We did Mickey Mouse and the X-ray image looked quite cool. I tried Buzz and it looked really great. I had been mulling over how to help the children relax when they were getting their X-rays so it all kind of feel into place,” she explained.

But the hard work was far from over. She made contact with BBDO who were Disney’s creative team in Ireland.

“Mo Ryan in BBDO loved the idea and was very enthusiastic about the idea from the beginning. She was very giving of her time and it was her stubbornness that helped us secure permission from Pixar to use the Toy Story images,” said Dr Snow.

It took just over a year to finally get the initiative up and running.

WOODY web

Jamie Doyle and Daithi Kavanagh watch as Buzz and Woody get their x-ray at Crumlin

“The kids really love the posters. We have them displayed in the waiting room because it is where the children spend the longest time. The various characters are up on the walls and parents find that it helps distract the children if they are nervous and really put them at ease. It can be such a foreign environment for them and anything we can do to help them is very welcome.”

“Disney have been really impressed with what we are doing here and said they would be interested in working with hospitals around the world to introduce similar initiatives,” she said.

She was full of praise for the creative people who helped bring her idea to fruition.

“We wish to thank BBDO and John Farrell from Image Solutions for their generosity in making the art works come to life and for creating an X-ray Toy Story sticker to give to our patients after their visit,” said Dr Snow.

It has already been recognised with three design awards, a Kinsale Sharks Gold, an ICAD Gold and an EPICA Gold. 

Trish Long, Vice President and General Manager, Walt Disney Studios, Ireland, said, “It has been a true privilege for Disney Ireland to help bring this initiative to life and to have our beloved Toy Story characters helping Irish Children through tough times. These three awards are a welcome recognition of the innovative and creative partnerships which made it happen. I’d like to thank Dr Aisling Snow for the idea; BBDO Ireland for all the support; Mo Ryan and Cassy Witts for their tenacity in shepherding this and, of course, Pixar for supporting the initiative but most of all for creating such wonderful characters to begin with. To Infinity and Beyond.”

BBDO Dublin were delighted to lend their creative support to a wonderful joint initiative between Disney Ireland and Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin.

“It was an unmissable opportunity to utilise our creative talent to help relieve some of the anxiety and stress of many children,” said Niall Reynolds, Group Account Director BBDO in Dublin.