New Pediatric MRI Suite takes young cancer patients to the beach

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Putting a smile on the faces of children undergoing cancer treatment, a Connecticut hospital is taking a brighter approach to help kids get through it.

The next time children like Campbell Taft get an MRI at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, they’ll focus on their trip to the beach. The six-year-old cancer patient is getting a sneak peak at the new Pediatric MRI Suite. The lifeguard is now on duty the next time he gets a scan. The renovated area is all about fun in the sand, and it is just for kids.

“The theme is a beach, and we know that children of all ages love a trip to the beach,” said Pediatric Radiologist Dr. Rob Goodman. “We want to replicate that feeling when they come for a scan.”

The colorful beach scenes have Campbell smiling. He says he loves the walls, the bright colors, and the sandcastle. There was no hesitating getting on for a ride in the sandcastle, or in this case the scan-castle. Born with a brain tumor, Campbell gets a scan every three months.

“It’s great, it’s so much brighter and more fun,” said his mother, Sherry Taft. “It’s not boring, and he’s not going to be around the grownups that are getting their tests done too.”

There’s more. The diagnostic tool is the most sophisticated of all MRI’s available.

“It’s much faster than other scanners,” said Dr. Goodman. “It’s quieter than other scanners. There’s much less knocking noises for the children. It provides images that are much sharper, even if a child moves slightly, and it has increased cancer detection capabilities.”

That’s comforting for parents like Sherry.

“He’s doing wonderful,” said Sherry. “The tumor has been stable two years now.”

Creating a warm and positive experience is what this is all about. Patients like Campbell give it a thumbs up.

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