En Israël, comme un peu partout dans le monde, des expériences nouvelles émergent et sont liées à la crise sanitaire. Des clowns médicaux se sont proposés dans les hôpitaux israéliens pour aider les malades. Une expérience a été menée avec succès dans un hôpital de Tibériade (Poriya Medical Center).

Les « clowns hospitaliers » sont des clowns spécialement formés pour intervenir en milieu hospitalier et dans les centres de soins. Ils sont parfois appelés « Docteur clown » (anglais : Clown Doctor, une marque déposée dans plusieurs pays). L’action des clowns hospitaliers a pour but de contribuer au processus de guérison grâce à la force positive de l’espoir et de l’humour. Ils ont aussi un effet positif pour le personnel et les familles de malades.

LE PLUS. Arizona resident Carrie Mork contracted Covid-19 while touring Egypt in March. Her symptoms began shortly after her group got to Israel. For the next month she was in a hospital near Tiberias, far from everything familiar.

The doctors and nurses at Poriya Medical Center saved Mork’s life. What saved her sanity were the Dream Doctors therapeutic clowns on Poriya’s staff.

On her second day in the hospital, Mork was asked to come to the window separating the patient area from the medical monitoring area. She saw two clowns waving at her.

“She looked at us, a bit puzzled, and picked up the telephone on the other side,” recalls Shoshi Ofir, aka Dr. Hearta, who’s been working as a medical clown at Poriya for 16 years.

“She asked us if we speak English. I said yes, and she said, ‘What a relief! I need help with something, and I don’t know who to talk to.’

“It’s not that nobody on the staff spoke English. But she felt more comfortable turning to us because no matter the condition of the patient, the clown’s situation is always worse,” says Ofir, referring to the zany appearance that makes a medical clown a purposely unintimidating member of the medical team.

Next day, when Ofir and another Dream Doctor came to the window, “Carrie almost ran to us. We could see her smiling despite her mask. We played music over the loudspeaker and she was dancing with us on the other side of the window.”

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