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School Groups Help Pink Panther Through ‘Surgery’ at AMH

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He’s big, fuzzy and pink, but the Pink Panther is in more than a little pain when children first see him at Alton Memorial Hospital.

The Pink Panther cartoon character originally showed up during the opening credits of the 1963 live action feature of the same name.  At AMH, he is the main character when groups of young children come to visit.

“The premise is that the Pink Panther has slammed a car door and caught his tail, and he has come to the hospital to see if his tail is broken,” says Dave Whaley, senior coordinator of Public Relations at Alton Memorial Hospital. “This gives us a chance to take children on a tour of several departments in the hospital.”

A companion brings the Pink Panther to the main lobby in a wheelchair to meet the children, where his predicament is explained. Then it’s off to Medical Imaging, where a technician takes an X-ray of the Pink Panther’s tail. Sure enough, it’s broken and surgery will be required.

Prior to “surgery,” the Pink Panther heads for the Lab to have a blood sample taken. That’s also a little scary, but again the process is quick and painless – and it’s even discovered that the Pink Panther has pink blood.

“In the lab, we stress to the children how important it is to call an adult if they see someone bleeding on the playground,” Whaley says. “The technician always puts on her gloves before working with the Pink Panther’s blood and reminds them about keeping the wound clean.”

After the lab, the children get to go outside and look at one of the AMH ambulances. By the time they return to the main lobby, the Pink Panther is waiting for them with a cast on his tail and the “surgery” is declared a success.

The Pink Panther tours, which have been in place at Alton Memorial Hospital for more than 15 years, are recommended for children up to age 7. The maximum for one tour is approximately 20 children. For more information about the tours, contact Dave Whaley in Public Relations at 618-433-7947 or at drw5445@bjc.org.

Pictured above: The Pink Panther is surrounded by a group of children during one of the recent tours at Alton Memorial Hospital. The Pink Panther tours allow children a look at X-rays, the lab, the Emergency Department and an AMH ambulance.

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