'Hugging curtain' reunites parents with hospitalised kids in Rome

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Rome - The hospital got the idea from the children's letters to Santa Claus

By Web report

Published: Wed 23 Dec 2020, 4:20 PM

A rehabilitation hospital in Rome has come up with an innovative way to allow hospitalised children, who are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, the ability to enjoy personal contact with loved ones after several months — thanks to a "hugging curtain".

In a video posted by AFP, parents and friends of children hospitalised at San Raffaele can be seen inserting their arms into the protective ‘arms’ of the curtain for a long-awaited, infection-free hug with the young patients.

Speaking on camera, Claudia Pocci, the mother of one of the hospitalised children, said, “Hugging my son for the first time in two months is an indescribable emotion. I want to thank all the San Raffaele hospital staff who allowed us to do that — it’s not a small thing.”

A young lad named Gabriele, whose best friend is one of the children hospitalised, said: “I’m very happy. It’s been great to see him and hug him after such a long time.”

Parents hugged and kissed their children through the transparent curtain, and both parties wore masks for an extra measure of safety.

Hospital director Amalia Allocca explained that the idea actually came from the children themselves. “The kids wrote in their letters to Santa Claus that their biggest wish was to be able to hug their brothers, sisters, mothers or grandmothers, or all the people that couldn’t stay in the hospital with them. That is what prompted us to set up this ‘hugging curtain’.

Vulnerable patients around the world have had to endure isolation on top of dealing with physical illness to prevent potential complications arising from Covid-19. A nursing home in north Italy launched a similar idea last month when it created a ‘Hug Room’ to allow its elderly residents to hug loved ones without risk of contagion.

More news from