It's National Volunteer Week: April 6 to 12
A time to recognize, celebrate and thank all of the volunteers that make a real difference in the lives of our patients, families and staff at the Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH)
Andrew Sharp always knew he wanted to volunteer at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. “My own children were hospitalized here a couple times and I was interested in volunteering, but didn’t have the time,” he says. “So I decided to sign-up after retiring.”
For the last five months, Andrew has been spending a few hours on Mondays and Wednesdays with two patients in particular. On Monday morning, he keeps a three-year-old entertained in Dialysis and on Wednesday afternoon, he heads up to 7C1 to play with Loïc.
“I love discovering new things with Mario, the little boy in dialysis,” he says. “He is so lively and he really loves music. He’s got a great sense of rhythm and sometimes he starts dancing by just listening to the sound of the dialysis machines!”
More recently Andrew has also been spending time with Loïc, and the two of them enjoy having sword fights in the hallway. “It’s all about developing friendships with these children and taking the workload off the staff. The first time I met Mario he was afraid of me, but now he gets excited whenever I walk into the room because he knows I’m there to play with him.”
Andrew also credits the dialysis nurses for helping him get to know Mario better and for giving him hints on what he likes and doesn’t like. “I have always loved being around children. I love making them laugh and seeing them develop so quickly,” he says. “It’s been good training for if or when I become a grandfather!”