News

Children Art Project donated to Paediatric Unit MRHP

A unique art project has been unveiled at the Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise this week. The project is a series of artworks by the 4th Class students of Portarlington Presentation Primary School, inspired by their classmate who has undergone treatment in the hospital. Each piece of art signifies the resilience, courage and bravery of the children attending the Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 1

Saoirse Ryan, a student in 4th Class in Portarlington Presentation Primary School, recently underwent a bone marrow transplant in Childrens Health Ireland at Crumlin while the Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise supported her recovery. On returning to school Saoirse proposed and developed an art project with her teacher Jenny Kelly and classmates. The project was inspired by the “Beads of Courage” project. “Beads of Courage” enables children to tell their story using colourful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones along their unique treatment path. The children adapted the idea and displayed the philosophy of care and healing through the medium of art.

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 2

The art project was officially unveiled this week by Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing at Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Saoirse Ryan, her mother Sinead Walsh and her teacher Jenny Kelly with the Paediatric Unit staff. The artworks are currently on display throughout the Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 3.

Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing at Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise stated: “We are so grateful to Saoirse and all her classmates for this wonderful art project that we are proudly displaying in our Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise. The collaboration which took place between Saoirse and the school is truly outstanding. It really shows the courage and determination displayed by Saoirse and her family to embrace the philosophy of “Beads of Courage”

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 4

Elaine O' Brien-Doyle, Acute Paediatric Link Nurse(CNSp) at Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise commented: “Through Saoirse’s leadership, she has won the support of her teacher and classmates to embrace a project which reflects the resilience, courage and bravery of the children that we see every day in our Paediatric Unit and it is humbling for it to also reflect gratitude from our community for the care that we provide.”

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 5

Saoirse Ryan said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all of the staff in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise which feels like home when I’m there. I am very grateful to my teacher and all of my friends for putting this all together for such a wonderful place in the hope that it will make someone’s stay in hospital a bit brighter!”

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 6

Sinead Walsh, mother of Saoirse Ryan commented: “Saoirse always felt very safe in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise. The staff should be very proud of themselves as they always made my daughter feel secure. The aim of the project is to give something back to the Paediatric Unit that supported Saoirse through her journey. Saoirse and her class have underpinned their project with the “Beads of Courage” program where every time a bead is given: courage is honoured, suffering is alleviated, resilience is strengthened, and the experience of human caring is affirmed.

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 7

The ambition of the project is to reward those that have supported others through challenging times, to demystify medical centres and encourage children to be comfortable through hospital/ medical journeys. By providing this work and exploring children’s experiences in their local hospital hopefully helping children not to be scared if they need to attend the Paediatric Unit at Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise in particular. They also feel it is a way to celebrate Saoirse’s journey through illness and return to normal life.”

MRHP Paediatrics Arts launch 8

Jenny Kelly, 4th Class Teacher at Portarlington Presentation Primary School stated: “Instead of beads the children used different forms of colour and animals to express the philosophy of care and healing through the medium of art. This project taken on by 4th class has infused all students and families with excitement, care and love. We incorporated it as part of the curriculum this year and students diligently put in hours of school and leisure time into it.”

Photo captions:

  1. Launching the ‘Bravery and Courage of Children’ Art Project donated to Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise by 4th Class students of Portarlington Presentation Primary School. From left to right: Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing, MRHP; Maura Rice, Assistant Director of Nursing, MRHP; Jenny Kelly, 4th Class Teacher at Portarlington Presentation Primary School; Saoirse Ryan; Sinead Walsh; Elaine O' Brien-Doyle, Acute Paediatric Link Nurse(CNSp), MRHP; Dr Muhammad Tariq, Consultant Paediatrician, MRHP; Berna Keating, CNM2 Paediatric Unit, MRHP.
  2. Launching the ‘Bravery and Courage of Children’ Art Project donated to Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise by 4th Class students of Portarlington Presentation Primary School. From left to right: Sinead Walsh; Jenny Kelly, 4th Class Teacher at Portarlington Presentation Primary School; Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing, MRHP; Maura Rice, Assistant Director of Nursing, MRHP; Berna Keating, CNM2 Paediatric Unit; Saoirse Ryan; and Elaine O' Brien-Doyle, Acute Paediatric Link Nurse(CNSp), MRHP.
  3. From left to right: Nicola Smith, Staff Nurse; Dr Niall Vaughan, SHO; Dr Genoveva Balanica, Paediatric Consultant; and Lesly Levingston, Staff Nurse, all from Paediatric Unit, MRHP with Saoirse Ryan.
  4. Viewing artworks on display donated to Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise by 4th Class students of Portarlington Presentation Primary School. From left to right: Jenny Kelly, 4th Class Teacher, Saoirse Ryan and Sinead Walsh.
  5. Elaine O' Brien-Doyle, Acute Paediatric Link Nurse(CNSp), MRHP with Saoirse Ryan displaying an artwork that was a contribution of all 4th Class students in Portarlington Presentation Primary School. This piece depicts “Trees are strong, just like you!”
  6. Saoirse Ryan admiring her own artwork on display with teacher Jenny Kelly. Saoirse’s piece is a turtle which signifies protection and nurturing and a reminder that your home is always near.
  7. Artwork on display on entrance to the Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise donated by 4th Class students of Portarlington Presentation Primary School.
  8. 4th Class students of Portarlington Presentation Primary School displaying their art project that they donated to the Paediatric Unit in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise donated.

Beads of Courage enables children to tell their story using colourful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones along their unique treatment path. This international programme helps to decrease distress, increases positive coping strategies and helps children find meaning in illness. Children have something tangible they can use to explain their experiences. Beads of Courage Paediatric Oncology Programme in Ireland at Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin is funded by the Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland. There are more than 400 children enrolled on this programme from all over Ireland.