AROUND 70 children inpatients spent Christmas Day at University Hospital Limerick’s Children’s Ark Unit in 2016.
And before, during and after Christmas, all staff at the UHL unit made great efforts to make it as festive as possible for those unable to go home on Christmas Day.
“December can be a busy time of year in the Children’s Ark in University Hospital Limerick as childhood conditions e.g. winter related infections increase and staff work to ensure that as many children as possible are discharged in the run up to Christmas.
“Only children with the most serious illnesses are kept in hospital at Christmas and where possible, children who are well enough are discharged so that they can spend Christmas at home with their families,” a spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said.
The spokesperson said that staff in the Ark, organise activities for children and their families in the weeks leading up to Christmas, these activities include arts classes, choral performances and entertainment.
Events included the Kids Classic on December 20, with classical arrangements by Musical Notes and a performance of the Nutcracker; on December 22, children interacted with a variety of animals as part of the Wild Encounters programme; and Santa paid a visit to the children of the Sunshine and Rainbow Wards on Christmas Day.
The Children’s Ark in UHL is the only inpatient facility for sick children in the Mid West.
The Children’s Ark is a purpose built paediatric unit for children at University Hospital Limerick.