Lately, nursing news seems to have a tone that’s fairly negative, sad, and downright stressful. With multiple stories of violence against nurses, nurses being criminally charged for various acts, an inspiring, positive nursing story is well overdue.
Nurses at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in England have been featured in 6-year-old Penny Barraclough’s TikTok videos, filmed during her hospital stay receiving treatment for a rare genetic condition.
Her absolutely adorable TikTok videos will touch your heart, and remind you why you chose to be a nurse in the first place!
Adorable Penny and her Nurses Go TikTok Viral
Penny was recently hospitalized for a stem cell bone marrow transplant as treatment for her rare condition called Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia, also known as CAMT.
She had to stay in the hospital for six weeks following this procedure, and her mom Jodie said, “During this time in the hospital, we just thought we’d go on TikTok just because she was in this room for six weeks. The days were very long.”
Penny’s videos are filmed on her mom’s (Jodie Mangham) TikTok page, which is currently sitting at close to 70 Thousand followers. Her most-viewed video features a super-cute clip of her posing for pictures with her bedside nurse and went viral with a total of 7.9 million views.
Watch the super sweet video below:
@jodiemangham761 Penny’s day made 💖💖💖💖 #hospitallife #nhs #ticktock #bonemarrowtransplant #isoaltion #camt #nursesoftiktok #nursesareamazing #makingpennyhappy #pennypower #bemorepenny #4weeksposttransplant ♬ Kute & Neat – Sasique
Other cute videos, featuring nurses dancing with Penny in their uniforms and isolation gear have reached over a million views also:
@jodiemangham761 There’s squirrels in my pants🐿️…. Nurse Abi couldn’t wait to get involved with the tick-tock queen herself Penny Rose 🌹 & they absolutely smashed it. Go girls. Best nurse ever, best team ever ❤️ #hospitallife #hospitaltiktoks #chemowarrior #bonemarrowtransplant #recovery #isolationmagic #ticktockqueens #nursesoftiktok #nhs #makingpennyhappy #dreamteam #duo ♬ S.I.M.P (Squirrels In My Pants) [From ‘Phineas And Ferb’] – Geek Music
@jodiemangham761 1am ticktocks say what. ✌️ Another one of Penny’s amazing nurses getting involved with the tick-tock Queen 👸 herself 💜 #nhs #nhsuk #hospitaltiktoks #hospitallife #bonemarrowtransplant #chemotherapysideeffects #bravegirl #ticktock #makingpennyhappy #gogirls #showingthemtheropes #pennypower ♬ Chill Like That – Sunday Scaries & PiCKUPLiNES
What is Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia?
Boston Children’s Hospital defines Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia as “a rare, inherited disorder characterized by a severely low number of megakaryocyctes, a type of bone marrow cell that makes platelets that are important for clotting and preventing bleeding. Initially, the bone marrow no longer makes platelets; over time, the bone marrow may stop making red and white blood cells, as well.”
Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia is considered to be a rare condition, affecting less than 5,000 total people throughout the entire United States.
It is also a congenital, inherited disease, specifically autosomal recessive, meaning that both parents have to be carriers of the same gene, with a 25% chance of potentially passing on the disease to their children.
What are the Symptoms of Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia?
The most common symptoms of Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia are:
Other concurrent symptoms that might be present in some patients with this disorder include:
Shorter than usual height
Shorter than usual neck length
Coarse, rounded facial features
Melanocytic nevus, which is a circular, dark reddish-brown lesion smaller than 6mm
Occasionally, patients with this disorder might also have cardiac septal defects or skull bones that are not fully ossified (properly formed).
Jodie states that in Penny’s case, she started having frequent bruising, didn’t feel well, and eventually was found to have a low platelet count.
How is Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia Diagnosed?
Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia is often found before a child turns 1 year old.
Boston Children’s Hospital lists diagnostic testing for CAMT to be:
Bone Marrow assessment
What are the Treatment Options for CAMT?
A Stem Cell Transplant is the only option for a cure in the majority of cases of CAMT. Other treatment measures and supportive therapy include:
Avoiding taking any sort of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, or Aspirin
Jodie says Penny first underwent chemotherapy treatment and then had a stem cell bone marrow transplant at only 6 years old. She was in the hospital for a full six weeks and was finally discharged home in early November.
Nurses Set The Tone: Brightening Little Penny’s Hospital Stay
Penny’s nurses truly went above and beyond for her, getting creative and choosing to spend time on creating Tik Tok videos and cute dance routines to brighten her days at the hospital.
Jodie said about their hospital experience, “Penny fell in love with all the staff, and they all made that experience so much brighter. They’d come and get involved with her because they knew it made her happy.”
Penny added, “I love making the videos. They make me happy, and it’s amazing people see them all over the world.”
Going Above and Beyond for Our Patients
What are some ways that you go above and beyond as a nurse for your patients? Try a few of these suggestions to help brighten your patient’s day:
Spending an extra few minutes chatting with them during med passes
Letting them show you pictures of their family, friends, or pets
Helping them hang up special pictures and photos
Tidying their room/healing space for them
Making a special trip to the cafeteria or vending machine for their favorite snack