Alexandria / Waterloo

Spring Campaign 2023

Meet Oliver

Like all children Oliver loves to dress up as his favorite superheroes, play games and get his face painted. But this little boy has had anything but a normal childhood.

When Oliver was just four years old he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) a rare neurological disorder where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system. Oliver was paralysed from the shoulders down but thankfully could breath on his own.

From that moment on, hospital became Oliver and his family’s life. “I was in intensive care with Oliver for days on end, unable to leave his bedside," said Belinda, Olivers Mum.

The family was devastated, unsure how to make Oliver happy until Captain Starlight arrived, and Belinda said the impact on Oliver was instant. “The Captains made Oliver laugh for the first time since he’d been admitted,” she said. “Once he was well enough to go in a wheelchair, we would bribe him to get out of his hospital bed to go to see Captain Starlight in the Starlight Express Room.”

While hospital remains part of Oliver’s life, Belinda is so thankful Starlight is there for them and believes that “Without Starlight we would not have survived those long months in hospital,” with the Starlight Foundation making an invaluable contribution to Oliver's happiness and recovery.

Starlight’s newest Initiative - Happiness Matters

Captain Starlight’s provide positive distraction to children during potentially distressing and painful medical procedures. Captains on Call aims to reduce children's stress, anxiety, and pain, and create a positive hospital experience.

Key Findings of the Program:

•    Positive distraction from pain and boredom
•    Helps reduce children's anxiety and distress
•    Helps parents better cope with their child's procedure
•    Siblings also benefited from positive distraction while waiting for procedures to finish

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