Poetry helps children in hospital to talk about their experiences
YOUNG hospital patients have shared their experiences in a pioneering poetry book.
One Door Closes, Another Door Opens, is an anthology of poems by 15 youngsters who have spent time at the Queen's Medical Centre.
The 96-page book was officially launched at the Council House on Wednesday evening.
It is hoped the experience will help the group deal with their conditions, some of which are life-threatening.
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Aaron Sparks, 19, of The Meadows, has severe asthma, which causes attacks that can stop him breathing and has put him in intensive care five times.
Aaron has contributed five poems, including I Remember, which summarises the effects of asthma on his life.
"I just started to write about my experiences of when I've stopped breathing and what I've seen in an outer body experience I had," he said.
"I've always thought it would be good to write about my experiences – it's been good to let everything out that has happened to me."
The book was created as part of the First Story project, which puts writers-in-residence into schools to help children create poems and short stories. Nottingham Children's Hospital, at the Queen's Medical Centre, is the first hospital in the country to introduce the scheme.
Another contributor, Tom Devonshire, of Bestwood Park, wrote four pieces.
Tom, 19, who is autistic, said: "It's helped me to improve my writing and speaking and it has taken my confidence to another level. The best part has been seeing the book for the first time."
Terri Ellwood, 20, from Gedling, has type one diabetes and has become a youth volunteer for the Nottingham University Hospitals Youth Service since being treated at the hospital.
She wrote two poems – What do I Know? and The Colour of My Emotions.
She said: "There were people who would not even read in front of a group in the beginning and they are now getting up and reading in front of 100 people today.
" It has been a real success – all these people are published authors now."
Nottingham Poet Mahendra Solanki has been involved with the scheme since last October, running workshops for young people.
He said: "This has been such an inspiration to me. These are the kinds of things that really change lives."
One Door Closes, Another Door Opens is available from Amazon.co.uk priced £9.95 and from firststory.org.uk. Proceeds go to Nottingham University Hospitals Youth Service.