Family’s donation supports children this Christmas

Dozens of gifts for children in hospital this Christmas have been donated by a family after they were inspired by the generosity shown to their two young girls while being cared for at Medway Maritime Hospital last Christmas.

Luna Avery, now five-years-old, became poorly during the festive period. After what initially seemed like cold symptoms she quickly deteriorated and three days before Christmas, her GP sent her to the hospital’s Emergency Department.

An X-ray revealed Luna had fluid on both of her lungs and she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Mum Samantha was so touched by the kindness of others while Luna was on the hospital’s children’s ward that she was inspired to give something back this Christmas by donating gifts to The Medway Hospital Charity.

The mother of two from the Isle of Grain said: “It was so special that people had donated Christmas presents for children they didn’t even know. Seeing Luna’s smile for the first time in days when the charity came to the ward and took us to the Santa’s grotto – it just made the world of difference to us.”

After responding well the treatment, Luna was discharged home on Christmas Day. But just days later, on 28 December, Samantha was back in the Emergency Department, this time with her youngest daughter, Violet. The then one-year-old, who has asthma, was displaying the same worrying symptoms as her sister.

Like Luna, Violet was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to the same children’s ward, where she was cared for by many of the same team until she was well enough to go home on New Year’s Eve.

Samantha said: “I was so touched that even after Christmas they had gifts for Violet too. It was just amazing to see what people had donated. To see the difference it made to my girls, it felt right that we came back this year to bring gifts for children who will be in hospital this Christmas. It was an awful time for us but those gifts meant so much.”

Among the gifts donated by the girls’ parents and grandparents to the hospital’s charity are dolls, toy vehicles, games, puzzles and a magic set.

“We bought gifts that my girls appreciated last year and activities that children could do in bed if they couldn’t get up. We also bought pyjamas as this was something both my girls were given. It was so nice for them to have lovely new pyjamas to be in while in hospital,” Samantha said.

“Luckily, the girls are fighting fit now so we have been able to take part in the Christmas activities that we had to cancel last year. Fingers crossed it stays that way! We are looking forward to having our family together to celebrate this year – a nice normal family Christmas, hopefully!”

Donna Law, Charity and Fundraising manager for The Medway Hospital Charity said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Samantha and her girls were so well looked after that they wanted to thank the team by paying forward the kindness they received last year this Christmas. Every donation really does make the world of difference to our young patients who are with us during the festive season.”

An online gift wishlist has been set up by The Medway Hospital Charity for people who would like to buy a gift for adults or children in hospital this Christmas. Gifts purchased will be delivered directly to the hospital and given to patients during the Christmas period.

If people don’t have an Amazon account and would like to buy a gift, you can buy Christmas activity packs, colouring pens, word searches, board games and playing cards.

Alternatively, gifts can be posted to The Medway Hospital Charity, Office 2 ME.153, Main Reception, Medway Maritime Hospital, Windmill Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 5NY or you can drop them off at the volunteer desk in the hospital’s main reception.

Leave a Comment

Shopping Basket