Last night I was fortunate to be able to take my son, Toby, to experience his first mummy scanning session in person. At the age of 7 and the school holidays just beginning for the summer, keeping him entertained is usually fairly easy (hand him the iPad and leave him in peace). After watching the coverage of mummies being scanned on Blue Peter and various other news programmes recently, this really was an opportunity he will remember for many years to come.
The mummies being scanned were from the Manchester Museum collection – 2 adult females and 2 small children. The smile on Toby’s face as he was able to get ‘up close and personal’ with a mummy for the first time was special, and the evening got even better when the radiographers kindly allowed Toby to press the button to start the scanner. Trying to explain the finer points of radiographic techniques to someone of that age is difficult, but I think he understood enough to grasp what was happening. It helped a lot that I could refer back to last summer when he fractured his wrist and had to have the customary X-rays to prove it. It didn’t take long for him to overcome his nerves of the slightly strange and unfamiliar surroundings and start asking questions about the mummies, the procedures and what questions we might hope to answer.
We left the hospital quite late last night, tired but full of questions and happy memories of the evening. Toby admitted in the car on the way home that he was worried he might have been bored, but as it turned out it was great fun and ‘when can I come again?’! Good leverage for getting him to behave I think!
Toby watching the computer monitor showing the mummy inside the CT scanner