Mural magic for children having surgery at RJAH – League of Friends

Posted on 18 August 2020

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The Paediatric area of Theatres at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital has been transformed following the addition of three murals – each focused around popular children’s characters.

Mural magic for children having surgery at RJAH
 Mural artist Rory McCann with Karen Cummings, Paediatric Recovery Nurse; Claire Heathfield, Recovery Manager; and Heather Thomas-Bache, League of Friends Office Manager and Head of Voluntary Services.

Local mural artist Rory McCann hand painted each of the murals following an £1,000 investment from the Oswestry-based hospital’s League of Friends.
Disney’s Finding Nemo, Roald Dahl’s The Big Friendly Giant and Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo are all featured in the paintings with a focus on wildlife, nature and the outdoors.

Rory said: “I’ve been a patient at RJAH for the past 28 years, after I was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis as a child, so it feels great to give something back to a hospital that has done so much for me.
“I’ve always had a keen interest in nature and wildlife, and before I decided to do artwork full-time, I worked as a scientist and conservationist so these themes really come through in my art.
“I’ve absolutely loved working on the murals at RJAH.”
Karen Cummings, Paediatric Recovery Nurse, came up with the idea and organised the work.
Claire Heathfield, Recovery Manager, said: “We are always looking for ways and new initiatives to improve a child’s experience when having surgery at RJAH and Rory has done an absolutely fantastic job of making their journey through Theatres much more child-friendly.
“Surgery is a nervous and stressful time for both the child and their family, and I know these murals will help relieve some of their anxieties.
“When waiting for surgery in the pre-operative area, the patients will be among The Gruffalo and The Big Friendly Giant murals, before heading into the Anaesthetic Room where they will be able to look at the Finding Nemo mural.”
Victoria Sugden, Charity Director for the League of Friends, said: “We were absolutely delighted to support the funding of these murals.
“Rory’s work is exquisite and helps to provide a welcome distraction for children having surgery. The League of Friends aims to do everything possible to improve patients experience and these murals really achieve that.”

To see more of Rory’s artwork, head to his website: or his Facebook page:

To see the process of Rory hand painting the Big Friendly Giant mural, click here to watch a short video on our YouTube channel.

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