Emotional plea goes out to Santa – please stop here

Echc christmas campaign 2017 baby siaweb

Baby Sia will be in hospital this Christmas, so Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity is calling on people to join its call to make #SantaStopHere 

Susan Smith's photo

8th December 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

An emotional call has gone out to Santa to make sure he doesn’t forget a very important stop this Christmas - Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC).

This will be the final year that Santa will stop his sleigh on the roof of the hospital in the city’s old town as next year it’s closing its doors forever.

Young patients and their families saw snow falling on the hospital as the message Santa Stop Here was emblazoned in lights on the front of the building on 1 December.

The honour of turning on the magical projection was given to Ruby Smith, aged 7, who spent last Christmas in RHSC. Watch her excited countdown in the video below. 

Ruby had fallen ill at school and was later taken to RHSC where it was discovered she had had a paediatric stroke.

As a result, she was unable to walk as she lost all movement down her right hand side. Ruby also lost her speech.

She was in hospital for six weeks, over the Christmas period, in which time she and her family benefited from a number of Christmas activities, facilities and support funded by ECHC.

Jane Smith, Ruby’s mother, said: “December 2 marked exactly one year since Ruby had a stroke and she was so excited to be asked to turn on the projection at the hospital.

“Thinking about then and now, her progress is simply amazing and we can’t thank the staff at RHSC, NHS Fife and Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) enough for their amazing work and support.

“It was a privilege for Ruby to do the honours and maybe even a sign of hope to all children (and parents) currently in hospital to try and stay positive and never give up hope as children are so incredibly resilient.”

With less than a month to go before Christmas day, ECHC is calling on communities to help support it in its campaign to make its last Christmas extra special.

Roslyn Neely, chief executive of ECHC, said: “Christmas is such an exciting time of year for children and we believe that being in hospital shouldn’t compromise its magic.

“Spending time in our homes, in the company of our families on Christmas morning is something that can often be taken for granted. But, children who need to spend Christmas in hospital shouldn’t have to feel like they’re missing out on anything.

“Many people don’t realise that a lot of the fun, distractions, games and décor, that can help a child feel much less frightened when they come into the hospital, particularly during special occasions such as Christmas, are funded by us.

“We’re campaigning to make sure that children at the hospital get to spend December eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa, presents and their loved ones. The work of the hospital doesn’t stop at Christmas but we hope that Santa will remember to stop here one last time.”

A donation of £15 can afford could help provide fun, creativity and a distraction from treatment by delivering a wide variety of arts activities for children and young people. 

Gifting £30 could help fund parents’ accommodation meaning parents and carers can stay close to their child in hospital.

Nothing is more important than memories with family and a donation of £75 could help the charity put on a Christmas movie night. 

Watch the video below to find out more reasons to support ECHC's #SantaStopHere campaign.