Josh's story

Josh was born with a complex heart condition. He has only ever spent one Christmas at home. The rest, he has been in hospital.

His mum Claire explains, “Due to his heart condition, Josh has spent much of his short life in and out of intensive care.

“We knew he would spend his first Christmas in hospital but then in 2018, things were looking good.

“Josh had been invited to some little parties with his friends, we had bought lots of presents and we were desperate to take him to see the Christmas lights in town – something we had missed out on the year before.

“But he became really unwell and we found ourselves back in intensive care at Edinburgh’s children’s hospital.”

As his friends put their Christmas jammies on and laid out mince pies and milk for Santa, we sat at our little boy’s bedside, willing him to keep fighting.

- Claire, Josh's mum

“He had a common virus but because of his heart, lung and immune system problems, it floored him and narrowly missed needing invasive ventilation.

“When you’re in hospital, everything goes on hold. Time just stops. Your baby is all that matters. Especially when you are in critical care, it is isolating and the days are long.

“The support provided by ECHC made such a difference. The activities and visitors arranged by the charity over the festive season gave us things to look forward to and focus on, and helped to break up the day. Thanks to them, we always left the hospital feeling uplifted.

“Seeing Josh laugh and smile even when he was feeling so poorly was the most wonderful and precious gift.”

“Josh had met the Scotland Rugby Team in the past and when they came back to the ward they remembered him and spent special time with him. He especially loved Christina the wonderful ballerina and Rhys the musician from Tinderbox who sang songs with him.

“When he was feeling well enough, we would go for little walks and he loved to find the charity’s Living Advent Calendar Doors hidden around the hospital.

“We really hope we don’t have to spend another Christmas in hospital but we know that if we do, ECHC will be there for us and for all the children like Josh.

“Alongside the amazing NHS teams, they’ll make sure that families won’t miss out on any of the magic and joy. The kids will be treated like the heroes they are.”

With your help, we make sure children and families like Josh and Claire don’t miss out on any of the magic of the festive season while in hospital. We rely solely on your donations to be able to do this.