Rabbits and guinea pigs are said to comfort children with cancer at Dijon hospital

Being hospitalized for a serious illness is an ordeal. Even more painful when it affects children. In Dijon, an association visits sick children with animals to give them comfort.

The place does not invite smiles and yet it is a happy experience that we will live in Dijon hospital.

We have an appointment right in the pediatric hematology department. This service supports children with cancer.

We first meet one of the doctors on duty who explains to us that the treatments for children are lengthy, painful and come with the same side effects (e.g. hair loss) as for adults. So you have to try to downplay the hospitalization and the presence of animals is a good solution.

In the specially equipped room, Claire Mongeot and Anaïs from the Ani’nomade association install the animals.

We come to the hospital regularly, it is an important meeting for the children because when they think about animals, they forget about the disease.

Claire Mongeot, Director of the Ani’nomade Association

In the small room, the children begin to arrive. Like adults, they equip themselves with masks, blouses and charlottes on their heads. There is no talk of taking the slightest risk of contagion in contact with the adults present. Two minutes later, Kélissa and Sanna are already petting and feeding the animals.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and other pigeons awaken the children’s senses. And the laughter breaks out, the little ones build Lego houses for the rabbit, the girls take pictures with the birds.

When Sanna comes to the hospital for treatment, she always looks to the left of the elevator to see if the animals are there, and if they are, her attitude changes immediately.

Always under the eyes of parents, members of the association and Thierry Thunot, president of the “Coup d’pouce” association, the exchange with the animals continues. It is this association that has the origin of the device that asked Ani’nomade to intervene in the hospital.

Thierry Thunot, the club’s president, knows the problem well because one of his children has been affected by the disease.

The treatments are long, first for children and also for families. And the visits to the hospital are uncomfortable. Thanks to the animals, it is easier to get to the hospital, the children focus on the animals and accept the treatments better.

Thierry Thunot, President of the Coup d’pouce association.

The Ani’nomade association brings its animals to the hospital, but not only. On request, she also goes to retirement homes or to specialized facilities for people with disabilities. It also welcomes groups in its own facilities in Dijon.

Full video report, Saturday April 9 at 11:25 am on the program “En Terre Animale” on France3 Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and rerun on France.tv

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