Dad creates computer game to stop daughter being scared of cystic fibrosis treatment

Computer game takes the fear out of the dreaded breathing mask for 4-year-old Alicia

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Loving dad Dr David Day has designed and made a computer game for his 4-year-old daughter Alicia to stop her being scared of her cystic fibrosis treatment.

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Alicia used to dread the breathing mask that was used in physiotherapy to help clear mucus build-up in her airways, often screaming and crying. David, a senior computing lecturer at the University of Derby, has designed the game to link up with the breathing mask, so that Alicia’s breaths control a host of characters on the computer screen, including dragons and flowers. 

“She blew into the device, saw the flowers move on screen and looked at me with this sense of wonder. She asked me how it was doing that so I told her it was magic,” David told the BBC.

The characters are controlled by exhaling at a certain pressure.

David developed the game with help from his colleagues at the university, and they’re now hoping that a fully-tested version can be launched in shops in a year’s time. They are currently getting extra funding to test the game with 10 young people aged between 6 and 9.

“She loves it. It has taken all the pressure and worry out of trying to get her to do her physiotherapy,” said David.

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