FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — For children in hospital beds, there is not much to do other than recover. That is why one group came together to get them gaming again.
Members of FortLAN gathered at Parkview Women’s and Children’s Hospital Monday afternoon. They raised money during the 2018 FortCON to donate a GO Kart to the hospital.
The GO Kart is an Xbox One encased in a medical-grade kiosk. The unit can be transported throughout the hospital to provide bedside recreation to children unable to leave their room.
Molly Gerke, a Certified Child Life Specialist at the hospital says the kiosk gives much-needed distractions to patients.
“At Parkview as a Certified Child Life Specialist, part of our role is to provide normalization and distraction to children in the hospital. Distraction can not only help normalize an unfamiliar environment, but it can also help aid in non-pharmacological pain management,” Gerke said.
For James Fislar, CEO of FortLan, being able to provide that distraction means a lot to him as a parent of someone who has had to go through the hospital system before.
“Just thinking of kids being here. my son has been here twice and just having the opportunity to get in his room. That’s the vision that I get when thinking of providing this cart to other kids,” Fislar said.
Gerke said the GO Kart has already been a benefit to the pre-teen and teen population at the hospital. She says a 12-year-old patient was in a lot of pain, taking some type of pain medicine every 4-5 hours.
“Once the Go-Kart was brought into the room and he was playing for about 30 minutes, he denied his next dose of pain medicine because he was so distracted with the game he was playing,” Gerke said. The patient’s mother was ecstatic that his pain could be treated non-pharmacologically at that time.”
The group hopes to raise enough money to donate another kiosk during their next FortCON, taking place on September 27 in Fort Wayne. For more details on the event, visit FortLAN’s website.