Shortland St star backs hospital fundraiser

JAMES GREENLAND
Last updated 09:15 30/08/2012
Devorah Blumberg
JAMES GREENLAND
Happily distracted: Wellington hospital children’s ward play specialist Megan Strothart and fundraiser Devorah Blumberg play on an iPad with Gareth Stephens, 2, who has been in hospital for 10 days receiving treatment for epilepsy.

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The Wellingtonian

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A Shortland Street star is backing a Wellington woman who has been baking, tweeting and pushing for donations to buy iPads for Wellington Children's Hospital.

Jacquie Nairn, who plays nurse Wendy Cooper on the television show, is helping Devorah Blumberg to raise enough money for six iPads.

The iPads are to be used distract young patients undergoing treatment.

"It has exceeded my expectations entirely. It's very cool," Ms Blumberg said.

"My spam-tweeting electronic stores didn't really work, but you have got to try."

Ms Nairn said she loved people doing things to improve the lives of others.

"It's so selfless, thoughtful and inspirational," she said.

'It's for children, it's a beautifully simple idea, it's achievable, and I hope it's something that people in other towns could look at and think 'I could do that'."

Ms Blumberg came up with the idea after seeing how her own daughter was happily distracted by an iPad while at home sick.

"If she can be distracted by that, imagine how the kids at the hospital would enjoy it," she said.

Hospital play specialist Megan Strothart said she would use the iPads during stressful or frightening medical procedures that children had to undergo.

Mrs Strothart said her work was "distraction therapy".

She said she played with patients to divert their attention away from the surrounding hospital environment.

With 28 children in the 6-and- under ward at any time the iPads would be wonderfully valuable, she said.

"It's just another tool we can use to keep them happy and entertained."

So far, Ms Blumberg has raised enough money to buy four iPads for the hospital.

To donate, search "iPad fundraiser" on Facebook.

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- The Wellingtonian

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