Saint Etienne. Actors, jugglers… they bring smiles back to sick children

Saint Etienne.  Actors, jugglers… they bring smiles back to sick children

Last August, for the first time, I entered the pediatric department C of the mother-child building of the Saint-Étienne University Hospital.

Behind these doors, a huge silent corridor which leads to individual rooms where little ones, sometimes a few months old, suffering from more or less serious pathologies, have been hospitalized there for days or months.

The human tattooed on their red nose

A sick child is always an injustice, a pain. So visiting, even during a report, is always moving.

We made this visit in the company of actors from the Docteur Clown association. Clowns who have laughter but also humans tattooed on their red noses, because it is easier to perform a show in a room than to clown in this medicalized and sanitized world that is a pediatric unit, where loneliness and illness are part of everyday life.

Eighteen hospital clowns in Doctor Clown

That day, we followed in the footsteps of Dominique, alias Bertrand Bolet, and Irène, Mademoiselle Lilas who are part of the eighteen clowns of this association based in the Rhône.

Both were trained to work in hospitals, including training to learn how to track microbes.

Before going from room to room with jokes and songs, the two artists “take turns” with the nursing staff who tell them the first name, age, of the patients, inform them of their medical and psychological condition, and valuable information. , so that they do not knock on everyone’s door.

“You can stay in David’s room (1) as long as you want, it will be real happiness for him, he loves music,” says the health manager of the service. Their first visit is to this little one-year-old boy who “has been there for a while”.

The fairies who leaned over his cradle were not kind to him. He is very fragile, suffers from serious pathologies, and does not receive all the attention from his family that he deserves.

Bertrand Bollet announces himself in his room with some strumming on the guitar. All alone in the middle of this large room, sitting in his high chair, with a toy in front of him, the child opens his big round eyes, waves his hands, captivated by Bertrand Bollet and Mademoiselle Lilas who blows soap bubbles at him from afar. .

The baby smiles, squirms to follow the two clowns with his gaze, while the nurse provides him with care. A lovely little moment of happiness for this baby whose face remained imprinted in my memory for a long time.

(1) Assumed first name

On November 6, the pediatric ICU of the CHU was transformed into a pediatric intensive care unit

This is another sign that the hospital is not doing well. On October 31, we announced in our editions that, due to lack of sufficient staff, the Saint-Étienne University Hospital would have to resolve to temporarily close its pediatric intensive care unit.

Since November 6, this only referral service for the Loire basin, Northern Ardèche, and Haute-Loire has been transformed into a pediatric medical-surgical intensive care unit with eight beds.

Professor Aurélien Scalabre, head of the mother-child couple department and Stéphane Scalabrino, deputy director of the mother-child couple center at the CHU assured, “it is something provisional. The CHU’s wish is for this to be as short as possible. We are giving ourselves the means, with the help of the Hospices Civils de Lyon and the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, to recruit four to five practitioners to reopen the service.”

This recruitment would be a nice Christmas present under the hospital tree.

Like all young people his age, Julien Zou-Guillot is a little addicted to his console.  Photo Philippe Vacher

Julien Zou-Guillot guest of the Telethon

He is impressive. He speaks calmly, displays a lovely energy behind his sweet smile, and does not seem to resent the life that has made him a little different from others.

He is not obsessed with this difference. “I don’t think about it on a daily basis. I continue to move forward. »

Julien Zou-Guillot has lived with Duchenne muscular dystrophy since he was a baby. An illness which deprives him of the use of his legs and forces him, since the age of 10, to move around in an electric wheelchair.

With his baccalaureate in economic and social sciences specializing in geopolitics in hand, he began studying psychology this year. “I always liked observing others. My meeting in 4e with a psychologist in a career forum was the trigger. »

Enrolled in his first year at the Catholic University, during the week he enjoys his independence in a small apartment where many caregivers come to help him in his daily life. On weekends, he devotes it to his passion, wheelchair football, which he plays at ASSE.

France 3 viewers will have discovered it if they turned on their TV on December 9, on the Téléthon set. He was invited there alongside his mother and his little brother and was, once again, impressive. He appeared zen and completely at ease in his discussions with the facilitators.


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