The National Hearing Implant & Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital has launched a publication aimed at children and teenagers. Ciara’s Comic was created and illustrated by Marie Denham, a staff nurse and artist, with text by Jennifer Robertson, a speech and language therapist at Beaumont Hospital.
The book follows Ciara, a deaf teenager who decides to get cochlear implants. The story takes the reader along the pathway to getting implants with the help of a healthcare team. Ciara’s Comic will be used for educating both the children getting implants and their siblings to understand the journey. As these children have poor access to sound prior to surgery it is so important to have a visual aid to help educate and prepare them for the process.
About the creators
Marie Denham is a staff nurse who previously worked in the ENT clinic and saw a need for a book to assist in education. Sinead McClay, a speech and language therapist, started working on the project and found that there were only books for adults or babies. An age appropriate book was needed and so Marie turned it into an anime comic-style book.
Marie is a part-time illustrator and now works full time in the Plaster Room at Beaumont Hospital. Marie previously took part in the artsandhealth.ie conversation series where she discusses the genesis of the project and her dual practice as a healthcare practitioner and artist.
Jennifer Robertson, a speech and language therapist in Beaumont Hospital, wrote the text and assisted in helping the project to become a reality.
The project was supported by all the team in the department. The creators would like to acknowledge the assistance of Professor Laura Viani, founder of the National Hearing Implant and Research Centre, and Colm Kavanagh for printing the books in-house which made the process smoother.
Ciara’s Comic is an excellent example of what can be achieved with an MDT approach as well as highlighting the important role the arts can play in healthcare.