Stalham family thanks EACH Quidenham hospice for Christmas celebration
- Credit: KAREN SELF
The family of a youngster with a brain tumour has thanked a children's hospice which made their Christmas special.
Seven-year-old Harry Addy, from Rivermead in Stalham, celebrated the festive holiday with his family and other seriously-ill children at an East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) Christmas party in Costessey.
Harry's mother, Melanie Addy, 34, who is now his full-time carer, said: 'EACH is amazing. We went to a big Quidenham hospice Christmas party which was lovely because there was food and different activities.
'It was nice to chat to different people. You find out you are not alone.
'It is really important to have a Christmas party. Harry misses out on so much. It is lovely to do something together as a family.'
Jane Campbell, Quidenham hospice service manager, said: 'The Christmas party is always a fantastic occasion.'
Harry, a Stalham Infant School pupil, was diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma - a non-cancerous brain tumour on his spinal cord in December 2015.
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He underwent two operations a month later just after his fifth birthday but in January 2017 the family learned the tumour was growing, prompting a course of chemotherapy. It has since stopped growing.
Harry has received play therapy at his home every two weeks since 2016 from a play specialist based at the EACH Quidenham hospice.
Mrs Addy has regular monthly access to a Quidenham counsellor.
Harry's nine-year-old sister Daisy also attends a sibling support group run by Quidenham eight times a year.
The youngster has two other sisters, Tilly, four, and Harriet, one, who enjoyed the Christmas party.
After his diagnosis, Harry has had to learn how to walk again but has to use a wheelchair as he cannot cope with long distances.
His disease has also caused him to suffer with a low immune system.
Pilocytic astrocytoma develops more often in children and young adults, for the first 20 years of life, and there is a 90pc survival rate.
Mrs Addy said: 'Emotionally, the disease has impacted him so much. Harry has lost confidence. The play therapist, Sarah Fisher, is amazing. She has helped him with his worries.'
EACH nook appeal
A dedicated play therapy space will be one of the major features of a new Norfolk EACH hospice.
The charity has started building work on the specially-designed £10m nook hospice in Framingham Earl, a few miles out of Norwich.
Fundraising permitting, EACH hopes the project will be completed by spring 2019 and it will replace the old Quidenham hospice.
So far just over £7m has been raised through the £10m nook appeal, which was launched three years ago by EACH royal patron the Duchess of Cambridge.
The new seven-bedroom nook hospice will be on one level; have more areas for clinical care; a hydrotherapy pool; a state-of-the-art sensory room; larger and better-equipped en-suite bedrooms; and dedicated therapy rooms.
It is hoped the vastly-improved facilities will mean EACH can reach even more than the 128 children and 219 family members it currently does from Quidenham.
For nook appeal information visit www.each.org.uk/the-nook