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New book to help children at Newcastle hospital facing kidney transplant

05 December 2023

A new set of books have been launched today, specially tailored to support children with kidney disease being treated at the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle. 

The hospital will be gifted 100 of the 'My New Kidney’ full colour hardback books created by Get Better Books and funded by Kidney Research UK and the Hobson Charity to help children prepare for a kidney transplant. The books are hand finished with holographic sticker, gold envelope and letter, felt tips and printed drawstring bag. They will also receive 60 books designed for older children and teenagers

Front cover of My New Kidney book which has an outline of a bear on it
My New Kidney book

My New Kidney

The playful, interactive books show what to expect in the lead up to and after their operation using a fun approach to alleviate anxiety. Titled ‘My New Kidney’, the book for children is designed to encourage the recipients to colour, comment, write questions, draw and stick things in – creating important engagement so families can explore the transplant process together. A book specifically designed for older children and teenagers will also be available.  

The books have been made bespoke to the patients and the hospital they attend. Including a map of Newcastle showing the children a route home from their operation, they create a unique Geordie feel, both culturally and geographically.  

“We wanted to offer support to families, at what can be a very stressful time,” explained Brogan Ritchie, community and events manager at Kidney Research UK. “The children will often have been through a great deal in their short lives. The team at Get Better Books have worked closely with Dr Charles Pickles and the staff at the hospital and created this fantastic guide for children, siblings and their parents.”  

Support for patients and their families

All children who are preparing for a transplant will receive their own copy of the book which comes with felt tips and a ‘My New Kidney’ drawstring bag. The book can be used by the children and their families to talk about the transplant before, during and afterwards. 

Non-profit publishers Get Better Books have previously worked with Great Ormond Street Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to create bespoke patient materials for children facing a range of clinical conditions. Their designer and illustrator Georgina PotierChildren’s book creator inspired by own kidney journey said: “We started Get Better Books with the goal of creating beautiful, interactive books and communication design to help paediatric patients understand their treatment, alleviate anxiety and get better!” 

Dr Charles Pickles, consultant paediatric nephrologist at Great North Children's Hospital said: 'We're really excited to be able to use this fantastic and fun resource to support our children through this life changing, and sometimes a little scary, journey. Thank you to Get Better Books and Kidney Research UK.'

Paediatric renal team, Brogan Ritchie, Angela Watt and her son Dan Watt and Dr Jake Abrams
Paediatric renal team, Brogan Ritchie, Angela Watt and her son Dan Watt and Dr Jake Abrams

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