Monday, 30 January 2017

Harvey's gang story by John Wilton

Harvey’s Gang

By John Wilton
Illustrations Kate Woodall

Hello My Name IsBuster, I have to go to the hospital regularly to have my bloods checked.

My friends at the hospital have told me there is a gang called Harvey’s Gang.
They too have to have their bloods checked regularly.
None of us like needles or indeed hospitals.
They have told me that the department that runs the bloods are
called ‘Fl baa toe mists.  That’s a bit of a mouthful just like that dance ‘flamenco’.
Everyone there is apparently very jolly and the most exciting thing is that a big giant called Malcolm runs’ the department.

I have been told a vampire runs the bloods at night and that I can see alien blood too!
A secret gang of special people !  Are they Ghostbloodsters? !
I  REALLY want to be part of that crazy gang! Maybe I will! I have been invited for a tour with my mum.
I am off to meet the giant !

My mum and I arrive at the hospital and we are met by a very tall man I can barely see his face in the clouds. I swear I saw a seagull flying around his head!

He seems to be a very jolly giant in a big white coat.
     ‘Hello young man, my name is Malcolm,’ the giant says,
      ‘I have a goody bag for you and look your very own laboratory coat’.
I  say,
     ‘Thank you.’ The coat fits perfectly and I shake his enormous hand.

It has a Harvey’s Gang Badge on it, I feel very special.
 Malcolm tells us, ‘We are going on and adventure today to see what happens to people’s blood.’
I am excited and scared at the same time; I take hold of my mum’s hand nervously.

Malcolm escorts me and my mum into a white room, it’s massive!!!
It has a very large train track covering the entire floor. The track seems to go on for miles and miles and miles ……

The train track is sealed and there are lots of vials dropping down and ssshing along that station it’s like a mechanical pick and mix. ‘Shaky Shaky’ the blood is dancing, ‘Swirly Whirly’ as it spins down the track. In the vials there are little bits of blood of which gets moved all along the train track. The computers check the blood for everything. The computer must be a wizard. Malcolm tells me and my mum that ‘the track is like a large washing machine for blood.’  I’d never get my trainers in that washing machine!

I spot a lolly pop cup and ask if there are any lollipops available, Malcolm laughs and tells me that is for something different, that they also check poo and wee and that is the poo cup, I burst out laughing – WOW!

  ‘Can you see what we have for dinner ?’ I ask and everyone laughs.

At every ‘station’ there is a person monitoring the blood and someone is there all the time even at night.  ‘At night,’ I ask, ‘is the blood looked after by a vampire? Does it drink the bad blood?’
Malcolm giggles, ‘we do indeed have our very own friendly vampire called Dave and he takes care of all the blood that goes off and is bad.

Malcolm takes us to another large room with some very big fridges.
 He opens the door.
It and it is like a supermarket frozen section of blood.
Malcolm explains that if blood is ever needed there all types here that can be matched and given to people including me.

‘Gosh Malcolm, people are very kind to give blood to people like me! They must be heroes as they save people!’

‘They do indeed young man and you must never ever be afraid. We will always be there to help.’ Malcolm smiles. I trust this friendly giant.

I watch as the blood results go through a long tube that travels through the ceiling and whoosh up to the right wards in the hospital. A hospital blood mailbox! Whoosh! Some bloods shoot up the pipe to one of the wards.

This is all so much fun, I think, ‘What was I worried about?’

‘Now we are about to end our tour and we have something very special to show you’ Malcolm looks over his glasses and takes me over to a microscope.
Now this is top-secret Buster, we are Harvey’s Gang and sometimes we do some secret work for the government. Today we have some special blood taken from an alien.’

I knew it, alien blood!!! I am so excited!!
 I look through the microscope and can see all the blood cells quite clearly they are not even green or indeed red. Malcolm says that they have to freeze the blood to stop it moving around so much as they cant see what is happening if it running about all over the place.
     ‘So young man did you enjoy your day? You are now an official member of  Harvey’s Gang!’

Malcolm beams at me he doesn’t look like a giant so much now.

‘Yes I did thank you so much. Can I come back one day and see my blood go through the train station one day?’

‘Of course you can Buster. We look forward to seeing you. Don’t forget though the vampire and the alien blood is top secret.

Malcolm winks and I take my mother’s hand smiling. I am not scared or afraid now I know the Giant, Malcolm, his teams and the train set are there to help me.

Harvey’s Gang

By John Wilton
with Illustrations by Kate Woodall

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Harvey's Gang LIVE in Ninewells hospital, Dundee

We had our first Harvey's Gang visitor 16th January 2017, Charlie

Charlie, age 14 who has Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  

Mark Bonar, Lesley MacDonald, Charlie and Shona Duncan.

Charlie and his mum were delighted to see so much in the laboratories. There are quite a number of tours to come in the near future too.

As part of the launch the team at Ninewells had a Christmas raffle and raised a huge £165 which will be going to Harvey's Gang.  

THANK you Lesley and the team at Ninewells hospital. We look forward to hearing more from Lesley.