It’s that time of year again where Christmas is drawing closer. It’s a time that many of us really look forward to. But it’s also a tough time for many others – including the patients who’ll be spending Christmas in hospital. They’re going to need a little extra support this year.
My name is Lucy, and my nephew Jessie was born at King’s in August 2013. He was almost two months premature and weighed just 4lb. But most concerning of all, he was born with only 10% of his bowel.
Jessie spent the first 9 months of his life at King’s, including his first Christmas. For us, his family, it was the beginning of a long journey of treatment and hospitalisations. But thanks to the amazing staff, and the generosity of people like you, we felt so wonderfully supported.
At one point last year, we didn’t think Jessie would survive to see another Christmas. The treatment he had received to survive with so much of his bowel missing had meant his liver had begun to fail. His only hope was a transplant.
Your support could help another family like Jessie’s to cope this Christmas.
A life-changing call, and a life-saving transplant
On the 15th April 2020 we found out Jessie was in end-stage liver failure, and as a family we should start to discuss end-of-life plans.
It’s impossible to describe how it feels to know that you might lose the child you love so much. It was the most difficult 24 hours of my life. But then a phone call changed everything.
The voice on the end of the phone was that of the transplant coordinator from King’s. They said, ‘we have a liver for Jessie’. Thirty minutes later, we were in an ambulance blue-lighting us to King’s for the 11-hour operation.
Your gift this Christmas could help another child receiving critical care like Jessie.
Jessie home for Christmas, the greatest gift.
Thanks to the incredible surgeons at King’s Jessie is alive and well today. And every member of staff was amazing – I honestly can’t thank them enough. The cleaners, the receptionists, the doctors, the nurses – everybody who keeps King’s safe for its patients. That’s why King’s is so special to us.
Jessie’s at school full time now and he’s even done sponsored walks and bike rides to raise money for King’s.
This Christmas we’ll be home with Jessie. That’s the greatest gift ever. But other families won’t, because a parent, sibling partner or child is receiving treatment at King’s. Thanks to people like you, King’s College Hospital Charity supported us so much over the years. Please help them to support others. Believe me, it means so much.
Let's make Christmas special for patients
Jessie will be home for Christmas, but many other patients – including several children – will be waking up on Christmas morning in a ward here at King’s. They’ll need your help.
We do our best to make Christmas special at Christmas. One of the ways we do that is with our ‘Elf Service’ which makes sure every patient at King’s on Christmas Day receives a gift.
From toiletries and other items to make their stay easier for adults, to cuddly toys, books and games for children – it’s a special way to bring Christmas joy to even the most seriously ill patients.
But it isn’t just gifts you will be making possible this Christmas with a donation to King's College Hospital Charity. You will also be supporting the ongoing care and support of staff, patients and their loved ones, allowing us to go above and beyond in the projects we support.