With just eight sleeps to go and the pressure on the NHS unrelenting, all teams at the hospital are working flat out to get as many children as possible home for Christmas. But for those who are most seriously ill, a Christmas Day in hospital will be the reality this year.
Your support will bring comfort, love and laughter to children like Hope, who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer in October last year. Her mum Kirsty tells us:
“At nine months old, Hope developed a rash that wasn’t clearing up. Thinking we best be on the safe side, we were referred to Haematology at Edinburgh’s children’s hospital where she was given the terrifying diagnosis of myelodysplasia – a rare blood cancer. We were devastated.
“We had not long come out of lockdown and were excited to start living a ‘normal’ life. Now, we were facing another six months of isolation in hospital.
“Hope began chemotherapy in April. Summer was beyond tough as we sat at our little girl’s bedside and watched her battle this cruel disease. We were terrified, but she continued to amaze us.
“She had a total of six bone marrow biopsies, three central lines fitted and removed and 19 blood and platelet transfusions, yet she would still get up every day with a smile on her face and play.
“We were so thankful for the daily activities run by ECHC and treasured every moment of entertainment.
- Kirsty, Hope's mum
“They really gave us a structure to our day and something to look forward to, and also ensured Hope wasn’t missing out on fun things we would have done had we been at home.
“Hope also really loved the music sessions with the guitarist and the silent disco was incredible and absolutely made our day. We had been so scared for her when she was diagnosed.
“We never thought there would be so much laughter in hospital, and we certainly never expected to be strutting our stuff and showing off our best dance moves on the ward.
“The support from ECHC is invaluable to children in hospital, especially long term, and as a parent, it also took some of the pressure of us to keep her entertained throughout the day, which was a massive help.
“Our end goal was to ring that bell as we knew the nightmare would be over – which she finally did in October this year. Hope is now in remission, and will continue to have monthly check ups at the hospital.
“We are so grateful for all the support we received from ECHC and the charity’s supporters. It meant so much to our family.
“Last Christmas was tainted as we knew it wouldn’t be long until she started her treatment, but we are in a much better place now. Hope has beaten cancer and we are all looking forward to a wonderful Christmas at home together, but we know this won’t be the case for many families this year.
“If you can, please make a donation to help others who will be in hospital in the coming weeks.” – Kirsty, Hope’s mum
Not all families will be able to spend this Christmas together at home. If you have given, thank you. If you would like to donate, your support could Light Up Christmas for families like Hope’s who sadly have to spend it in hospital. Please give the gift of a donation this year. Thank you.