Albin finds ways to pass the time

When a child is hospitalised for a long period, it affects the whole family. It is not uncommon for the healthy siblings to be slightly overlooked on weekdays full of examinations and sample taking. Therefore, Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg has introduced two sibling supporters. As a sponsor of the project, we chose to go and visit a sibling, 14-year-old Albin from Molkom, to hear a sibling’s perspective on how the support works. He really has a talent for finding ways to pass the time.

“Volvo 745 is the world’s best car,” says Albin firmly with a big smile. “If I find a nice one, I’ll never get rid of it.” The Volvo interest is clearly at its peak and the plan is that the next major activity he will do together with the sibling supporter, Johan, will be the Volvo Museum in Hisingen. “Johan has been promised by the museum’s manager that we will be treated to a drive around in a car. I hope it’s the first Volvo ever made or a car that never made it to series production.” 

Travelling from home in Molkom to the Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg takes five hours. Albin spent the whole summer in Gothenburg and this is the third time the family has gathered for a stay in the hospital with his little brother.

“I did whine a little to my mum, who, incidentally, is the world's best, that I would have to spend the whole summer holidays at the hospital. But then she answered that I've been to Liseberg four times and five times to Universeum. Sometimes with family and sometimes with Johan. She had a point, of course, and to get away from the hospital environment and just be able to think of something else has been wonderful.”

Most of the time Albin spends at the hospital is otherwise in the play therapy department, to which the sibling supporters belong, along with newfound friends who also have sick siblings. Here you can play table tennis or pool, watch TV or play video games, read books or just hang out on the couch for a while. Sometimes there are also visits from outside, for example the IFK Göteborg team.

“I'm still a Karlstad supporter in hockey, but now IFK has become my football team. The whole team was here yesterday and handed out scarves, signed autographs and played football games. Good thing they don’t play so badly on the real pitch. They’d never win a thing.”  

One thing, however, that is a clear winner is the idea of sibling supporters. We say goodbye to Albin with the realisation that the designated support for siblings provides a much-needed dose of happiness. Back at the office it is not easy to forget Albin. He has just had his birthday and it is Christmas in a week or so. We decide to buy him a book a present, as a thank you for the interview. A book about a particular car. The world’s best.