Health & Wellness

Doctor Draws Custom Bandages To Make Hospital Less Scary

He hopes special dressings make kids forget about the scars and trauma of surgery.


Some might call Dr. Robert Parry an artist with a surgical scalpel. But he's also an artist when you give him a few markers and a surgical dressing. Parry is a pediatric surgeon at Akron (OH) Children's Hospital and creates special drawings on his patients' bandages, in hopes that the children won't have long-lasting memories of trauma following their operations.

Akron Children's Hospital Facebook page

When Parry visits families before surgery, he'll often ask the child about something that interests them. After the operation, he quickly sits down at a desk and hand draws an image on the child's surgical dressing, like a cartoon, or favorite sports team logo, so when the child wakes up in recovery he or she sees something that makes them smile, not their incision and stitches. Check out how he made a custom dressing for a little boy who likes The Flash:

( Akron Children's Hospital Facebook page )

"I like to feel like I'm giving something to tell them 'you're not just someone I operated one. You're a human being. Here's a little piece of me'," said Dr. Parry in the video which the hospital actually posted a couple of years ago. The story got new attention this month, after the hospital spotlighted it in a post looking back at their top 10 moments of the decade. A post showing Parry making a custom bandage was posted on a Reddit forum where it shot to the top of the page, according to CNN .

Akron Children's Hospital Facebook page

That's brought a new outpouring of praise on social media for Dr. parry "You understand that health care is more than treating an illness, it takes heart and going that one extra step for a patient and their family," writes Olivia. "You are a very special doctor and a very amazing person," agrees Alice.

"I thank God that we have someone special like you in the world to make children happy."

Dr. Parry has done more than 10,000 surgeries, which means he's done more than 10,000 drawings, unique to each child. Disney characters and sports team logos are the most popular and take about five minutes to do.

Akron Children's Hospital Facebook page

"It's been a pretty special thing, for everyone. It's fun for me to do, the parents and the children really enjoy it and even the whole medical staff likes to get in on it," he told CNN in a recent e-mail. "Whenever one of my kids arrive in the recovery room, the nurses all like to take a look to see what dressing the child got. I think it just makes everyone, me included, feel good."

We agree! Most of us are not doctors or nurses with artistic talent, but Dr.Parry's efforts do show how a small gesture can make a big difference to someone who needs a little joy in their lives. Why not be on the lookout for something small you can do, and #StartSomethingGood with Sparkt?

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