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Blog: Fundraiser and Volunteer Ayaka on ‘Wow’ Moments

03rd Jun 2024
Everybody was amazed about having a cinema in a hospital, because a hospital is not a place to have ‘fun’.

Senior Nursing Assistant, MediCinema Volunteer and Fundraiser, Ayaka

Ayaka is a MediCinema volunteer and a Senior Nursing Assistant on the Oncology/Haematology Ward at Guy’s Hospital, London.

Before running the London Marathon for MediCinema, Ayaka told us about her experience as a nurse in Japan and why MediCinema connects with her so much.

“As a nurse in Japan I worked in the palliative care unit; that’s my passion in nursing. I met a patient whose last wish was to go to the cinema. But she was suffering from a lot of pain, and it was really difficult to move her from the hospital. We talked and discussed it with the multidisciplinary team and also the local cinema and we managed to take her there. It was a bit difficult for her, but she really enjoyed it, and during the two hours she didn’t say anything about her pain. After the film finished, we could see her smiling face – we hadn’t seen that for a while. Her family were so happy to see her smiling.


“It took several days to organise this visit to the local cinema, and she sadly had limited time. It was hard for us to make it happen in time and to manage everything, bringing all the medications and equipment to the cinema. We needed to ask the cinema to keep a place for her and we use a lot of machines that make noise too, so we needed to make a space for the patient away from other customers.


“Sadly, just two days later she passed away.




“I came to the UK to study a Palliative Care Master’s and Guy’s Hospital is undertaking initiatives related to my research topic so that’s why I decided to work in this hospital, especially on a ward which has a lot of cancer patients. Working as a Senior Nursing Assistant helps me to have more connection with patients there.


“I saw MediCinema people coming to our ward to collect patients, but I didn’t expect that we would have a proper cinema in a hospital. A patient came back from the cinema and said, ‘We’ve watched a film’ and I couldn’t believe that! I just thought it was a small screen in a room, I was so surprised when I first visited the MediCinema, and I had the same reaction as when I take patients there – they say ‘Wow!’. They open their eyes bigger and it’s so beautiful, I like to see that reaction.


“My favourite thing when I’m working is to tell people ‘There is a cinema in the hospital, and you can enjoy going out from the ward.’ They don’t believe me! And when they come back from the screening, they become really excited and say, ‘yes there’s a cinema, it’s so amazing’. I like that moment to have that kind of conversation.


“As a volunteer I like to take the patients to the MediCinema to see the same ‘Wow’ reactions; and going back to the ward after the cinema and hearing patients tell me their opinions or how they felt, how the patient’s life related to that film, to listen to those stories – I like that.

Sometimes a patient has come in for an operation the day before and they are so nervous, and they get the chance to go to the MediCinema and they completely forget about the operation or staying in the hospital. They tell me they can sleep well, and they can go for their operation tomorrow well.

Senior Nursing Assistant, MediCinema Volunteer and Fundraiser, Ayaka

“I talked about MediCinema in Japan when I went back last month. We don’t have charities in Japan much, so we don’t have a concept like MediCinema. Everybody was amazed about having a cinema in a hospital, because a hospital is not a place to have ‘fun’. I hope hospitals in Japan consider a cinema in the future.


“I’ve only done one marathon before. Since I decided to come to the UK, running the London Marathon has been one of my biggest goals. I’m so happy that I joined with a charity place for MediCinema because I’m talking to people about this charity, and they support me a lot too. I feel like I’m very supported from the group, I’m not only running by myself.”