The aim of our website is to create a child friendly, accurate and up to date source of information for paediatric patients between the ages of 6 and 10 about their illnesses.
The story of a little girl inspired Professor Sutcliffe and Anna Waldie to create the website. This 11-year-old girl presented to a hospital in London with a flare of her Crohn’s disease, a disease that had been diagnosed merely 4 weeks earlier . The little girl was Turkish in origin and the family spoke little English. It became apparent that her diagnosis had not been discussed clearly with the family when her mother enquired whether her dysentery would resolve. The little girl was in severe abdominal pain and was told she required a nasogastric tube in order to meet her dietary requirements. She did not understand why she needed the feeding tube and found insertion of the tube so traumatic that she refused feeds. The little girl was in agony and her mother was in despair, both had little understanding of what was causing the symptoms.
After seeing this little girl with Crohn’s disease, it became apparent that there are limited resources for educating paediatric patients on their medical condition. Although there is a plethora of information on the Internet pertaining to almost every medical condition, this information is invariably targeted at parents or older adolescents. Children are often disregarded as it may be perceived that they do not have the capacity to understand their condition. It is therefore useful that information, appropriate to younger paediatric patients, is available to them in a form that they can understand. If a child can comprehend their illness and appreciate the need for on-going management, it will assist in better patient care.
Furthermore, this case highlights the need for resources to be readily available in multiple languages.