My son was a patient at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. First at 8 months of age when his kidney failed and then at 10 months when they removed it. It was a difficult time for us all.
Visiting again, this time as a volunteer photographer, I had to confront the crockpot of intense anxiety and other emotions that envelop you as a parent. But more revealing was having to face the children. The head hanging to their chest and pain glazed eyes, head tilted with a curious expression. "Why does this hurt mummy?"
On this visit, however, the intensity was quickly dissolved by the pure joy brought to the faces of these young patients by the highly skilled and very funny clown doctors. What a wonderful gift!
In addition, I witnessed momentary relief among the visiting family. As Grandad holds his jolly tummy at the keystone antics and Dad flicks his head back with a giggle in response to a "Knock, Knock" Joke. Mum's shoulders relax for a moment and a half smile appears.
I appreciated every moment of our visit and was happy to help out with some photos that hopefully capture some of the special interactions. Some of the best photos from all around Australia will be published in the 2014 Calendar which is sent to all of those amazing contributors who help make these visits possible.
You can find out more about the Clown Doctors by visiting their WEBSITE or Facebook.