Presents delivered to patients at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after successful campaign
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A hearty 'ho ho ho' echoed down the halls of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) yesterday, as presents generously donated by you were given out to one and all, who were spending Christmas Day away from home.
Patients across the wards were given the gifts, and treated to a visit from Santa Claus himself, after the Send a Smile with Santa campaign launched by the Evening News and the N&N aimed to get 1,000 presents donated to the hospital.
And goodwill was shown by individuals and businesses, who rushed to give whatever they could to the campaign.
The gifts were then checked by staff, and wrapped ahead of the big day.
One recipient of a festive treat was Finn Wood, who was just 17 days old.
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He was celebrating his first Christmas on the children's ward with mother Kate Sudell, father Joe Wood, and grandmother Ali Sudell.
'He was being sick for a day and not feeding for 24 hours so we took him to the GP,' said 31-year-old Kate, who lives in London.
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'We were referred to Ipswich hospital and they found he had a hernia so we came here in an ambulance on the 22nd. He's already well travelled, he's been to three hospitals.'
The family had already received a quilt as a gift from staff on the ward, and were pleased to have a visit from Father Christmas.
'We'll probably have another Christmas when we get home,' Mr Wood, 29, said. 'But it's been really good here so far, but we are meant to be swimming in the sea!'
The family were hoping to have a Christmas lunch at the hospital, when other members arrived later in the day.
On the Brundall Ward, 89-year-old Faith Collie, from Watton, received her present. She said: 'Everyone has been so nice and welcoming, but I don't really know what I want from my gift.'
And Alice Parke, who had visitors for Christmas Day, was also on Father Christmas' nice list and was given a gift.
Mark Davies, N&N CEO, said: 'I'd like to thank our whole community, in 36 years I've never seen anything like this. I think it's incredible, the support we've had from local people, and I would like to say thank you, it means so much to all of us. It's a special day and we're grateful for the support we have.'
Director of nursing Emma McKay said as well as getting their presents, patients would get a Christmas lunch and it was open visiting.
But she did remind people to stay away from the hospital if they have a stomach bug, or have been in contact with someone who has over the past three days.
People should also avoid bringing in children under 12 years.
'It's difficult because people want to visit at Christmas, but it's important,' she said.