Kids who arrive at this Chicago hospital to get treated for hand injuries don’t expect to leave with a piece of art that’s designed just for them—but thanks to one artistic doctor, that’s exactly what happens.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Felicity Fishman at Shriners Children’s Chicago is the go-to doctor for children who want a grin on their face when they leave for home.
She’s drawn everything from dinosaurs and sharks to SpongeBob and Elsa for “Frozen” fans—all personalized with sterilized markers.
“The whole team at Shriners Children’s has embraced the simple happiness that the cast art allows the recovering child to enjoy,” Fishman told GNN.
“It is truly a team effort; my PA and my nurse in clinic begin the conversation about the potential cast art so the families have time to choose, and the child has something to look forward to—instead of being scared.”
“The ability to pick something special and personalized for their cast allows the child to regain a sense of autonomy in an otherwise anxiety provoking situation.”
The pre-op nurses encourage the kids to pick something really unique. The OR staff (nurses, anesthesia, scrub techs) selects the marker colors and help plan the outline. Finally, Fishman brings the art to life.
“There have been a few children that have loved their drawings so much that they were actually sad to have their cast removed,” says Fishman.
“One family told me that they saw their daughter (around 2 years-old) having a conversation with the Mickey Mouse on her cast.”
The kids usually return about 3-4 weeks after their surgery to have the cast removed and the orthopedic techs try to preserve the art when the family requests to keep it.
“I consider this a huge compliment!”
Dr. Fishman’s expertise is what helps her patients heal, but it’s her artistic skill that puts a smile on their faces.
Even though the art is applied following the real work of surgery, everyone on the team agrees those 10 minutes of creativity are still important to their overall success.
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