13-year-old Angel helping children cope with severe illnesses

The Bulgarian teenager has donated video games for children's hospital wards across the country

Desislava and Dimitar are owners of a small Bulgarian company producing sleeping bags especially designed for the needs of maternity wards in hospitals. A year ago, they launched the "Sleeping Bag with a Cause" initiative and so far they have donated more than 3,000 bags to 45 maternity wards in 31 Bulgarian cities.

Assistant in the company during the holidays is 13-year-old Angel. A keen gamer, he accidentally saw a news story that completely changed his perception of video games.

“We watched a report about children who need to spend a long time in hospitals,” Desislava recalls. “These are children with oncological diseases; children needing infusions; children with transplantations. And it turned out that playing video games at the hospital not only entertained them, but had therapeutic effect. After seeing the report on the news, Angel was extremely impressed and said that the least he could do for children in Bulgaria, is giving them the opportunity to play when they are not at home, with the hope they would heal faster.”

Just for a few hours, the “Game on” initiative received huge support not only from children and parents, but also from game developers.

“People reacted instantly and we started receiving dozens of games daily, so we think Angel's initiative really made sense," Desislava pointed out. “Through this campaign we wanted to make society acquainted with the problems of these children. We asked people to donate PlayStation 4 games. We have set the goal to provide games to four hospitals by June 1. The first will be the Lozenets Hospital, where there is a ward for children with transplantations. The three major oncology hospitals in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna follow next.”

Gaming stations are now ready, too. These are custom-made mobile tables, equipped with a TV and a game console with various games, two controllers, headphones and mobile Internet. The games are selected so that children can play together with other children or their parents.

“I believe it is important that more people learn about this even if they do not join the campaign, because society should talk about these children. In this serious battle in their lives, they need support and a little joy that we would very much like to deliver, giving them the opportunity to have some fun time while staying in the hospital," Desislava says.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: private library


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