Phoenix ward were the grateful recipients of an amazing £8,000 donation from charity Shai’s Smile.
The charity was established by nine-year-old Shai and her mum, Lindsey. Shai has a number of conditions that mean she can’t eat or drink and she has been under the care of Phoenix ward since she was a baby. Swimming or even brushing her teeth can be a danger to Shai as any water she swallows could enter her lungs.
Shai’s Smile raises money for groups and charities that help children with life-limiting illnesses that affect their everyday lives.
The charity joined forces with housebuilders Linden Homes and Countryside to fundraise at this year’s Essex Winter Ball, where they also received a sizeable donation from D&B Scaffolding.
The ward staff plan to spend the £8,000 on a new resuscitaire for ill babies.
Danielle Sullivan, junior sister on Phoenix ward, said: ““This donation will make a huge difference. The resuscitaire is a piece of equipment we’ve needed for a long time. I’ve treated Shai and she’s so brave and happy – she’s just amazing. She’s an inspiration to everyone here.”
Shai’s mum Lindsey Bidwell, said: “Shai had five choices of who to give the grant to and she chose Phoenix ward. She adores all the nurses and everyone here. They’re like a second family. Shai’s favourite nurse is Janice, or auntie Janice as she calls her.”
On the 29 June, the charity is holding a Party for Heroes at Marsh Farm in South Woodham Ferrers and is keen to invite any children who are living with long-term medical issues.
“We want to find other children like Shai who look well on the outside but aren’t,” said Lindsey. “She really wants other tube-fed children to not feel so alone. That’s what Shai’s Smile is all about – we’re building a community and creating a friendship group but also raising money.
“At the party we’re having little pads printed so the children can write people’s addresses down and keep in touch. The party will be a really special event. “And this November we’ve got 400 people coming to the Eastern Winter Ball. We’re aiming to raise £30,000, so that should be great for us and the hospital.”