Christmas joy spread around children’s ward at King George Hospital

Kirsty Wood with grandparents Tony and Carol

Kirsty Wood with grandparents Tony and Carol - Credit: Archant

For many children, Christmas is the most magical time of year – a day of excitement and laughter spent with their loved ones.

Kirsty Wood with grandparents Tony and Carol

Kirsty Wood with grandparents Tony and Carol - Credit: Archant

But for the poorly youngsters being treated in the Clover ward at King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, the experience was very different.

Kirsty Wood with grandparents Tony and Carol

Kirsty Wood with grandparents Tony and Carol - Credit: Archant

“The only children here at Christmas are the ones who are too ill to go home,” said senior sister Ann Honey.

“We do our best to get them better, but unfortunately there are those who come in unwell just before.”

However, the festivities of the day were brought direct to the young patients and their families, who enjoyed a visit from Santa and tasty treats.


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Little Patrick Nugent, four months old, spent his first Christmas in the ward. His father, also called Patrick, said: “He’s fine now, but he was really bad.

“When he gets ill his temperature goes over 39 [degrees], his heart rate goes up and he gets floppy. We don’t know what is wrong, [although] they found he has a reflux bladder. That’s one thing.”

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Baby Patrick, who was admitted to the ward six weeks ago, was treated to new toys by his doting dad.

Other youngsters spent the run-up to the occasion in the hospital, but were able to celebrate at home.

Two-year-old Aazaan Ali, of Barking, had been ill with a fever and an iron deficiency. His mother Tabasum, 27, said: “He is fine at the moment, but it was bad before, he felt very hot.

“My cousin [threw] a party for Christmas and her 16th birthday so we couldn’t miss that.”

Carol and Tony Wood, of Dagenham, were overjoyed to see granddaughter Kirsty home for Christmas.

The seven-year-old, brought in with a fever on December 16, has battled through major operations after being born with a hole in her heart and a missing pulmonary valve. Carol, 54, said: “It puts a terrible strain on you. But she seems better and the staff have been really good, they are so lovely.

“We’re hoping for a better year; this one’s not been too good. I think we deserve it!”

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