Sick children forced to stay in hospital over Christmas given presents from Daily Echo’s toy appeal

Bournemouth Echo: TOYS: Chantel Cooper and Karl Cox handing out gifts to children at Poole Hospital Children's Unit on Christmas Day. Pictured with them are Santa, Santa's Rainbow Helper and play specialist Tracey Fordham TOYS: Chantel Cooper and Karl Cox handing out gifts to children at Poole Hospital Children's Unit on Christmas Day. Pictured with them are Santa, Santa's Rainbow Helper and play specialist Tracey Fordham

SICK children forced to stay in hospital over Christmas have been given presents through the Daily Echo’s toy appeal.

For the first time ever, the initiative – now in its 17th year – has teamed up with the Amelia-Grace Rainbow Fund to provide gifts to ill youngsters.

The charity was set up following the death of eight-year-old Amelia-Grace Cooper, who died three years ago after battling an aggressive form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.

Amelia’s mum Chantel Cooper said the presents, donated by kind-hearted Echo readers, brightened Christmas Day for many tots in hospital.

“It was really busy there this year, so we were glad to be able to go along and help,” she said.

“We were also able to give presents to siblings too, so no one went without. We know what it’s like – fortunately, Amelia was relatively well in between bouts of chemotherapy, but we know so many people who are stuck in hospitals for months at a time. It’s awful. As a parent, you’re trying to keep spirits high, but you’re constantly thinking ‘I wish we weren’t here’, so I hope it made the day that little bit better.”

Father Christmas handed out toys from the appeal at Poole Hospital’s children’s ward.

Chantel said: “There was one moment in particular that really stood out for me.

“Santa was giving everyone a toy, and a little girl who was about Amelia’s age came out of her room in a wheelchair to get her present. Her face was an absolutely picture – it just lit up. She was so happy. It was perfect, and it meant so much to see that.”

The Amelia-Grace Rainbow Fund was set up to help children with cancer and other life-limiting conditions.

For more information, visit Ameliasrainbow.org

Comments (3)

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3:15pm Sun 29 Dec 13

mikeymagic says...

Well done to all involved. Amazing.
Well done to all involved. Amazing. mikeymagic

8:45pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Merleyman says...

What a badly worded headline! It reads that children were forced to stay in hospital over Christmas, due to the presents received from the Echo toy appeal.
What a badly worded headline! It reads that children were forced to stay in hospital over Christmas, due to the presents received from the Echo toy appeal. Merleyman

10:59pm Sun 29 Dec 13

HRH of Boscombe says...

God bless! No-one should be at the mercy of the NHS for Xmas.
God bless! No-one should be at the mercy of the NHS for Xmas. HRH of Boscombe

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