A clever education tool for children with haemophilia and their families has been created through an innovative collaboration involving students from the Creative Media Department of the Munster Technological University, Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin and the Irish Haemophilia Society.
My Buddy Cormac, an informative and positive awareness animation about haemophilia, focuses on the experience and challenges faced by children with the condition when treatment in hospital is required.
The story is told from the perspective of a child and it delivers an enlightening and creative take on events.
The animation and visual guide, which is aimed at children aged between eight and 12, will be made available on the CHI Crumlin and Irish Haemophilia Society websites.
The project was coordinated by MTU lecturers, Rosie Dempsey, who is the industry coordinator and Marty Boylan, the animation course leader.
They said the collaboration with Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin has been an invaluable opportunity for students to apply their knowledge to real world problems, while also benefiting from the enriching experience of seeing first-hand the amazing work the medical team undertakes.
Dr Beatrice Nolan, Consultant Haematologist at CHI Crumlin, said the educational aid developed by the students will make a big difference to young children with haemophilia and their families.
“It will make learning more fun and enjoyable and help the child and family develop a deeper understanding of haemophilia and joint bleeds.
“It will be much easier for families to access this educational tool online and we hope to develop more in the future,” said Dr Nolan.
Brian O’Mahony, Chief Executive of the Irish Haemophilia Society, remarked: “This project provides information in a format which will be relevant to children with haemophilia and in language which is age appropriate.
He added: “This will be of great benefit in helping educate the children about their bleeding disorder”.
The project was developed by enterprising MTU work placement students, Jack Finnerty (lead animator), with Grace O’Shea, Jack Roche and Kate Mc Donnell (illustrators and storyboard artists) who are all studying a BA (Hons) in Animation, VFX and Motion Design at MTU.
Patrick Lynch, who is the script writer, music composer and sound designer on the project, is studying a BA (Hons) degree in Music Technology at the MTU Kerry campus.
“Working with people we deeply admire and respect and being part of a project that will bring awareness to this condition, while also imparting reassurance to young children and families experiencing the condition, has rendered My Buddy Cormac a milestone in all of our careers,” said Patrick.
Haemophilia describes a group of inherited blood disorders in which there is a life-long defect in the clotting mechanism of the blood. It is associated with recurrent spontaneous bleeding, particularly into joints and muscles, from early childhood.
A child’s diagnosis of haemophilia is life-changing in its impact on both the child and the parents, who face a future of managing bleeding risk while trying to provide the child and his siblings with as normal a life as possible.