Jerry’s House Partners with Children of Bellevue to Bring Laughter to Young Patients at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
Legendary Comedian Jerry Lewis is Co-Founder of Program for Pediatric Patients
Jun 20, 2017
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue announced today that the auxiliary Children of Bellevue has partnered with Jerry’s House to bring healing through laughter to children at the hospital.
Young Australian television personality Lochie Graham, co-founder of Jerry’s House along with legendary comedian Jerry Lewis, joined children, parents, clowns, and hospital staff Tuesday for the launch of the program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.
“I’m extremely excited about the partnership with Children of Bellevue and Jerry’s House to bring laughter, humor, and joy to the pediatric patients of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue programs,” said Mr. Lewis, who was unable to attend. “By now you know how passionate I am about finding ways to help sick children have a better life, a passion only equaled by my love for comedy. This opportunity is a wonderful way to positively influence vulnerable children and young people, making a real difference in their lives when they need it the most.”
Jerry’s House will provide the Child Life Specialists at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue with “Healing Through Laughter” toy chests, which are equipped with the tools to bring humor therapy to young patients and their families who are coping with the stress, pain, and fear associated with illness, medical treatment, and hospitalization. The toy chests will be filled with fun play items that are sure to bring smiles to the faces of pediatric patients, including doctor/patient hand-puppets, big buttons that make funny noises when pressed, funny hats, and more.
“We appreciate the Jerry’s House partnership and their enthusiasm in working with Children of Bellevue to enrich our pediatric patients’ experience while they are getting their life-saving treatment here at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue,” said William Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of the hospital.
The “Healing Through Laughter” toy chest was created by young actor Lochie Graham to make children laugh, creating a supportive and fun environment while pediatric patients are in the hospital. Children are able to take the toys home once they have been discharged.
This program is in keeping with the hospital’s original “toy ladies” who – dating back to the 1950s – volunteered at the hospital, wheeling toy-filled carts through the ward and overseeing play time with the children.
Jerry’s House carries on Jerry Lewis’ legacy of harnessing humor, laughter, and joy to positively affect children and adolescents, which ultimately contributes to physical and emotional healing.
“It seems to me that every child’s world is better when they can laugh—despite the terrible things in their lives,” Lochie Graham said. “It’s my hope and dream that all children around the world will have a safe place where they can learn to heal through laughter.”