With your help we have funded some special toy MRI equipment to help young patients. MRI research nurse Ruth Foley tells this very special “Because of You” story!

Meet James! James is 6 years old and has Tetralogy of Fallot. Read his backstory here.

James came to visit the Advanced Imaging Centre for a research MRI scan and is the youngest participant we have had take part in our study so far.

James and his mum Claire hoped that taking part in our study might mean his next clinical MRI scan could be done awake and prevent James needing a general anaesthetic.

Because of you we received enough funding to buy a toy MRI scanner which looks just like the real thing in miniature.

We were also able to buy figures to put on the MRI scanner and a toy hospital and ambulance.

These toys are used to help explain to participants like James what will happen during an MRI scan. The toy MRI makes realistic noises to show just how loud the scanner is.

We want to make sure that our participants are fully aware of how the MRI looks and sounds before they are scanned for real.

Play therapy is particularly important for our child participants because we know that children learn through play. It gives them time to explore and ask questions about what is going to happen to them during their visit.

James had brought his favourite teddies with him to accompany him onto the scanner so our first job was to scan them first to make sure they didn’t have any metal in them… we think they enjoyed their scan too!

James was so prepared after spending time playing that when he saw the real MRI scanner his shouts of “WOW! That’s so cool” made everyone smile!

Dr Malenka got James all ready to be scanned and James said he felt like a space man going into space. Our participants are able to watch a film or series whilst on the scanner.

James had already decided he was watching Minions and loved that only he could hear it with his special ear phones. James’s Mum was able to sit with him during the scan.

James could see her through the mirror we use so participants can see the film they are watching.

Once James and his teddies were ready we started the scan and what a superstar James was! We were all very proud of James and when his MRI scan was finished his first question was “can I go play with the toys again?”

The toy MRI scanner and figures were obviously a very important part of his experience with us. Being able to offer this play therapy is all because of you.

James and his Mum left our department with big smiles on their faces, feeling more confident that when James has to have a clinical MRI scan that he will be able to tolerate it being awake.

Because of you we were able to make sure that James’s visit was a positive experience from start to finish.

Your contribution to our research study has been incredible – taking part directly or raising money to help us buy these important toys.

You are all playing a big part in making this a big success. Thank you!