A Surgeon Turns Kids’ Scars Into Cartoon Characters to Help Them Forget About the Pain

2 years ago

Spending time in the hospital can be a really unpleasant experience, especially for kids. That is why Dr. Robert Parry from Akron Children’s Hospital, in Ohio, always makes sure that a scar isn’t the only lasting memory that a child takes away after their surgery. Trying to distract their attention during recovery, he uses his pens and pencils to draw unique cartoon characters on their bandages.

We at Bright Side believe that Parry’s initiative is absolutely adorable and would love to share the information about it with you.

A surgeon of many colors — that’s what his colleagues in the hospital call Dr. Parry. And, of course, there is a great story behind this nickname.

To find out the reason why he got it, you can just look around his office. Among other things that belong to the doctor, you can always find some boxes of colored pens and pencils that he uses after each of his surgeries.

Parry has been working at the hospital since 2011 and he has already performed over 10,000 surgeries. But his desire to fix kids is not going to fade away. Like any other devoted doctor, he is always ready to help his little patients. But the thing that makes him stand out in the crowd of other medical workers is that he cares about their recovery process as well.

Knowing that kids are very sensitive and that they could worry too much about the scars they might get after surgery, the doctor makes sure that each of them wakes up to a special surprise. And this is a hand-drawn bandage that features their favorite funny characters.

Before every surgery, Dr. Parry asks his little patients about their interests and chooses the best idea for their future drawing. Then, right after the surgery, the doctor goes to his desk and makes a unique illustration while the patient is still waking up. The whole process takes about 5 minutes.

Dr. Parry says that he got the idea from another surgeon who used to cut his pediatric bandages into various shapes. But he decided to improve on that idea and, instead of cutting out shapes of sharks, stars, or hearts, he started to draw right on the bandages.

From popular Disney characters to sports team logos, from Batman to Brownie the Elf... it seems that this surgeon can draw absolutely anything, and the kids always love it.

In fact, sometimes they get so excited about the drawings that they actually forget about the scars hidden behind them. And even the nurses in the hospital immediately ask, “What did you get?” right after the patient comes out of surgery and into the recovery room.

For Dr. Parry himself, drawing on kids’ bandages is always fun. He says, “The response is really wonderful. The child gets distracted and excited to see what they asked for, the parents are happy, and the medical staff is happy.” All these smiles on their faces make him feel good too. And this only means — his work is done right.

You can learn more about Dr. Parry’s work by checking out his Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and website.

Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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I have always said that being a doctor is not just a profession, it's a call from your soul. What a cool guy he is!


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