A HOSPITAL visitor had a trick up his sleeve to make poorly children feel better.
Youngsters staying in Rotherham Hospital were surprised by Magic Tom, a professional magician wielding card tricks and balloon animals.
He is one of a dozen distracting jokers bringing smiles to sick children, thanks to a £600 grant from the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
A new entertainer will visit the hospital each month during 2018, paid for by the charity’s Dr Ted children’s appeal.
Magic Tom, also known as Tom Hodgson, has been a professional magician for ten years.
He said: “My love for entertaining children in hospital stemmed from my first job at Leeds General Infirmary.
“A little boy recovering from an operation there had the most amazing reaction to my tricks.
“He had a real interest in magic and his face lit up, despite how ill he was.
“He made me realise how amazing it is to make children smile, even just for a few minutes, when they're going through a tough time in hospital.”
Tom added: “It gives them a real lift, which is really important when you can't play out with your friends or go to school as normal.
“It helps parents feel less anxious too when they see their children enjoy the show.”
Rihanna Smith (11), a Catcliffe Primary School student, was recently treated at Rotherham Hospital for juvenile arthritis.
She said: “I’ve been here on and off for about four weeks and it can be really boring being stuck in hospital.
“I miss my school friends but they send me messages to cheer me up and Tom’s magic has made me smile.
“His tricks are really good and I think it would be great to have him here more often to help more children smile too.”
Gabby Atmarow, chair of the charitable funds committee, said: “Thank you to everyone who supports the Dr Ted children’s appeal.
“It means we can fund resources, equipment, toys or entertainment like this which help to spread a little magic to youngsters in Rotherham when they need it most.”
For more information about the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, contact Suzanne Rutter on 01709 426821 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.