There’s nothing more painful that the sight of children walking down the hospital corridors as they go from one treatment to the next. The constant doctor’s visits and the exposure to a gloomy situation takes a toll on their mental health.
While the solution for this is finding the cure knowing that hospital trips and stays can’t be avoided, researchers are constantly searching for ways to boost their morale. There may be something that can help them and lift their spirits.
At Children’s Health of Orange County, California, you may see a heartwarming sight, but at the same time, you need to watch both sides of the hallways for the little ones getting lab tests as they sit behind the wheel of their new electric Honda. You will hear them warn you with their horn and you might just get hit by a speeding vehicle. Nonetheless, this will bring a smile on everyone’s faces.
The car was designed by Honda engineers for the very purpose of easing some stress and anxiety of hospitalized children. When they talked about it, they couldn’t help but tear up because this move has made a positive impact to the little ones who were suffering from a variety of illnesses.
The car is called the Shogo and it was designed to specifically help tots navigate hospital hallways and transport the IV drips and monitoring machines that they might need. They’re also allowed to drive it themselves as they face the stressful journey that’s in front of them and still bring joy despite the difficulties they’re going through.
“To see the joy on the faces of these young patients when they get behind the wheel of Shogo is truly rewarding,” said Hundy Liu. He is the manager of national advertising at American Honda Motor Co.
Randall Smock is a senior exterior designer of vehicles for the company and he also had a vital role with the design of Shogo, which he called a ‘labor of love.’
“As someone who spent time in the hospital as a young child, I really wanted the number one objective of Shogo to be easing the hardship of a hospital stay by providing kids a lasting positive memory about that experience.”
One mom talked about what this did for her child and she said, “I heard Charlie laugh harder than the whole time he’s been in the hospital, so hearing that laugh again makes me want to cry.”
As for the name itself, Shogo is based on a Japanese word intended to mean “soaring into the future.” The car was made for young patients, aged 4 through 9. This can easily be driven because the power controls have been designed to be friendly. Children are able to manage the go/stop mechanism that’s placed on the steering wheel. The speed can also be adjusted from 1 to 5 miles per hour, which, for safety purposes, can be controlled by their handler, either a nurse or a caregiver.
Shogo comes with a built-in toy bucket mounted at the very front of the vehicle. This is for things that the child would want to bring. It also comes installed with cup holders, a center horn with varying sound options for fun, and a customizable license plate slot so that the rider can have their names on it should they choose.
Shogo also has a push bar that allows the handler to manually push the vehicle when they need to.
The wonderful moments were captured in a heartwarming video. This garnered a Silver statue at the 2022 Clio Health Awards because they were able to showcase the wonderful impact that play and laughter can have on everyone, especially the sick children.
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