Tiny beads to chart a baby's journey

Monday 01 October

Parents of seriously ill babies in RPA's special care nurseries are collecting tiny beads to chart medical milestones and celebrate the challenges their littles ones have overcome.

The Tiny Star Beads program has 41 different beads for parents to collect and string together to create a bracelet or necklace that tells each baby's personal story. Some babies earn more than 100 beads before they go home for the very first time.

"The beads show the journey. It's a visualisation of what each family has gone through and the hurdles they've overcome," Monique Manzanera, a social worker in RPA's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, said.

"There's a red bead for a blood test, a yellow duck for a first bath, a turtle for an extra-long stay, and a plane for a transfer to another hospital," she said.

It's an idea based on the concept of narrative therapy, where people find meaning and healing through telling their story.

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