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Computers Make Hospital Stays Easier for Children

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DURHAM — Duke Children's Hospital is trying to make their young patients' stays more enjoyable, thanks to the help of some new computers.

IBM and the Triangle United Way have teamed up to place Young Explorer computers in five health centers in the area. The computers are on each floor of the hospital.

"When the children come here for invasive treatments, it is not pleasant for them," says hospital administrator Mary Vinson.

Six-year-old Brooke Overstreet is staying at the hospital. She is a long way from her Tampa, Fla., home, but she says the computer makes her stay easier.

"I like to do the computer games and paint on them," she says. Overstreet is staying at the hospital while her brain tumor is being treated. Her mom, Marcia, says the computer is a nice diversion.

"I think it's wonderful," she says. "It gives them an opportunity to have fun while they're here. Instead of just sitting here, it keeps them entertained."

Besides entertainment, the computers are also providing education. Since many of the children undergoing treatment are away from school for long periods of time, the computers give them a chance to keep up with their work.

The hospital hopes the computers are another way to promote a friendlier atmosphere.

"When people are feeling good and having a good time, they get well faster," Vinson says.

So far this year, IBM and the Triangle United Way have teamed up to place 64 computers in non-profit agencies across the area.



Christine Rogers, Reporter
Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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