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St George’s Hospital Charity launches 2018 Children's Appeal

St George’s Hospital Charity launches 2018 Children's Appeal

Paulina and Amelia
Paulina and Amelia

St George’s Hospital Charity in Tooting have recently launched their Children’s Appeal, with an aim to raise £500,000 by 2020. Here, local parent Paulina talks about how the hospital took such great care of her daughter Amelia in a time of crisis.

My daughter Amelia is 9 years old. The last school holidays she was on a day trip with friends and when I picked her up her temperature was spiking and she was so lethargic. And that’s not like her; she’s generally such an energetic child, always running around. We thought it was a virus, but it just got worse. She woke up the next day and was stumbling, couldn’t walk and vomiting, so I took her straight to A&E at St George’s. The doctors found a 13cm lump on her spleen and a very high level of infection throughout her body. It was terrifying.

After surgery to drain the lump she started to get back to being herself, but then a few days later they found another collection of the lumps. She was in so much pain, she wasn’t able to sit up, could only lie down, and was bed-bound for weeks at a time. They needed to drain litres of fluid from the lumps, and eventually they had to remove her spleen entirely.

We were in hospital so much – all in all she was admitted seven times. It was so hard to explain to her what was happening, and why the situation kept changing. She experienced a lot of anger and resentment, and desperately missed her friends at school. I tried to do everything I could. I took all my annual leave and slept with her every night in her room. I don’t know what we’d have done without that fold-out bed!

The staff at St George’s were incredible, they became like family. When Amelia was well enough to be out in a wheelchair, she attended the hospital school, so she didn’t get left behind. But her absolute favourite activity was the baking days, making cakes and selling them at the lifts. There’s still a photo of her up there when you come out on the ward. Hayley and the other play specialists would come to Amelia’s room when she was bed-bound and play with her, and leave her with toys and arts & crafts to keep her occupied. It made all the difference to keep her spirits up. With a lot of the admissions, she didn’t talk much, she was sad, but I remember once after the play specialists had been to visit she had the biggest smile. And I just remember thinking ‘Oh my Amelia is back’. I was so grateful. 

You can find out more about the Children’s Appeal on the St George’s Charity website and follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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