Hospital corridors turned into motorbike track for sick children

Patients get relief from austere routine thanks to Italian bikers at Great Western Hospital in Swindon

Motorcyclists whiz down hospital corridors with kids

Ordinarily, bringing a motorbike onto a hospital ward might be frowned upon, but Great Western Hospital in Swindon made an exception for some of its young patients this week.

Motocross riders Vanni Oddera, Alvaro Dal Farra and Ivan Falvo transformed the corridors of the hospital's children's ward into a bike track on Tuesday.

They travelled to the UK from Italy where they run the Mototherapy and Freestyle Hospital which is a collaboration between the Allianz Umana Mente Foundation, Vanni Oddera, and the DaBoot freestyle motocross team.

Enver Lekaj, whose son Suad is on the children's ward, said: “It was truly amazing. I have had many days in hospital with my son, including Christmas, but this was definitely the best day.

"I never thought Suad would be able to ride on a bike but it really was amazing to see him. Suad loved it and they even jumped over me. I just want to thank the bikers for everything they have done. It really was the best day we’ve had.”

Myra Mcconnell's son David is on the adult Neptune's ward, and also got to ride on the motorbikes. She said: “The team were so kind to him and he smiled and laughed at the speed and noise of the bikes.

"After being in bed for a long time, he really enjoyed being out of the ward to do something exciting. We were apprehensive as David has a catheter line and feeding system. We were assured that he would be fine and it gave him an opportunity he had never had before.”

After giving patients rides up and down the corridors on their electric motorbikes, the bikers spent the afternoon in the children’s ward for a smaller session.

The idea was championed by the hospital’s medical director Charlotte Forsyth. She said: “Our visit from the Italian bikers was incredible. Some of our long-term patients, both on the adult and the children’s ward, are in hospital for weeks or even months and in that time, they don’t often get to leave the ward. It was so important for them to have this experience – something away from normal hospital life that brought so many smiles."

The bikers have traveled across Italy with their innovative therapy, but this was the first time they had brought it to the UK.

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