Surgeon Creates Hand-drawn Bandages To Cheer Up Young Patients

I really needed some good news today. This story is several that did it for me.

Dr. Robert Parry is a pediatric surgeon at the Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio. He regularly performs surgeries on children going through a variety of health problems, which can be overwhelming and traumatizing for kids and their families. However, he’s managed to turn a stressful situation into a happier occasion by using one of his other talents to make a recovering kid smile.

Dr. Parry regularly draws cartoon characters by hand on the bandages for these kids after their surgeries are over! The surgeon told that he was inspired to draw by his mother, an art historian and amateur artist, and finds it to be a small escape from reality. “I have a little bit of downtime, but I don’t want to leave the room until I know the kid is OK, so it just fills that time in perfectly,” Dr. Parry said. “It’s fun for everyone, and it’s selfishly fun for me. I love doing it. I love the reactions of the kids and parents and the staff.” 

Mom Heather Vincent was surprised to see a picture of Buzz Lightyear on her son Jackson’s belly after surgery to treat his high-risk neuroblastoma, with which Jackson was diagnosed when he was just 2 years old. She smiled at the idea, knowing how happy Jackson would be to see his favorite character when he woke up. “It was awesome,” seven-year-old Jackson said excitedly.

Over the years, Dr. Parry has drawn over 10,000 bandages in his career and is still going! He loves the thought of kids finding beauty in the midst of a hard situation. “Kids are incredibly resilient; they’re strong and they can still enjoy beautiful things, even when some stuff around them really isn’t that great,” he shared. “Children are just eternally optimistic. They’re just born that way. Things can be 90% bad in their lives and 10% good, and kids go to the 10% good. For the selfish side of me, it’s good to be around that optimism.”

This really made me smile. Something so small means so much to these kids and their families, especially with all that they’re going through. Check out more of Dr. Parry’s artwork in the clip below!

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