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Racing through the corridors, with your drip

When Salim enters the Princess Máxima Center, he immediately looks for a free children’s bicycle. He wants to race down the corridors! And fortunately that is usually also possible even if he has to be on a drip for a few hours. His mother then just runs after him, holding the drip.

Salim el Mahdadi (pronounced: Séliem’) is 3 years old and a lively little guy. Early last year he was diagnosed with cancer and since then he has frequently visited the Máxima Center. And if at all possible, his mother Nowel tells us, he rides his little bike whenever he can. Or he makes music, or enjoys an hour of gymnastics, for which the Máxima Center is a perfect place. With a sturdy, mobile drip, for example, children can move around freely.

Call in case of beeps
At least, if the infusion allows it,’ says Jacqueline Zoon, team leader of Day Care and the Outpatient Clinic. ‘After a test, it has been possible since last year: moving through the building with a mobile drip. For many infusions, even chemo, it’s no problem. At least if there are no risks of unexpected reactions to a drug. After all, a nurse or doctor must be able to intervene immediately.’ But otherwise there’s no reason why you cannot leave your room or the day care center. And take your drip to the enclosed garden, the school or the Muziekids Studio. If the drip beeps, you call the nurse. They will just come to you, or you go to them. The number is on a card attached to the drip, Jacqueline explains.

Continue to develop
The idea of allowing children to move freely with their drip as much as possible – if it is safe to do so – springs from the Máxima Center’s development-oriented care. Jacqueline says, ‘Even if you are ill, it is important that normal life continues as much as possible. So that you can continue to develop at all levels. Going to school where possible and playing with other children. Or gymnastics, which Salim is so fond of." The nurse always tells the parents and the child whether or not you can go out with a particular drip. Or whether you need to stay in your room after all. When in doubt, you can always ask if it is possible or not. According to Nowel, a lot is also possible in between. ‘If Salim is only given fluids, I sometimes ask if he can be detached from them for a while. So that he can also exercise without a drip for a while. At the Máxima Center they always help you, they always consider what is most pleasant for the child.’