Mr Levy's Story
68-year-old Mr. Levy, a Parkinson's sufferer, spent considerable periods of time at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, where he was treated for his condition and the injuries he sustained after a fall in his home.
Mr. Levy has no family - his partner died several years ago - and, although he values the care he received at St. Thomas', as he says, "No one likes being in hospital." He found the months on the ward difficult and lonely. "There's not a lot to do really: watch television; go to your room and read a book; sleep."
Mr. Levy first heard about MediCinema when the Cinema Manager at St. Thomas' was on her ward round telling his neighbours about the film on show that evening. "And she said, 'Would you like to come along?' And I said, 'Yes, I'd like to get away from the hospital environment - just for an hour.' It relaxes the mind. You seem to forget you're in hospital; you're concentrating on the film."
It turned out that Mr. Levy was a film enthusiast and a big fan of musicals (his favourite film isThe King and I). Over the following months and up until his discharge from the hospital Mr. Levy attended every single screening, soon becoming a favourite with the MediCinema nurses and volunteers - especially with the ladies! Whatever the film, Mr. Levy was one of the first patients down. "I'd think, 'It's a film. I'm not on the ward. I'm here with other people. Thank God.'"
Mr. Levy says what he values most about MediCinema is the "friendly surroundings". "MediCinema does a lot. Going into hospitals you brighten people's life up...sometimes it's [patients'] only means of getting to the outside world... In my case it was about finding people who care."
Mr. Levy now lives in a residential home where he receives the round-the-clock care and support he needs. But he would love to visit a MediCinema again and would like to see MediCinemas in care homes as well as in hospitals. "I know when I went to the cinema I'd come back and I was so happy. I used to sleep like a log. I was content I had been in a cinema...where I was known [to be] ill.
"[The other patients] enjoyed going to the cinema. It got them away from the ward. It got them away from the clatter of noise on the ward; the screams sometimes of patients in the dark. [MediCinema] must be a comfort to lots of people, especially the lonely."