Young patients at Stafford Hospital have been treated to a mountain of Christmas presents thanks to generous Rugeley residents and businesses.
Rugeley resident Natalie Pettitt organised an appeal for gifts to give out to children who would be spending time in hospital over the Christmas holidays.
Mrs Pettitt’s own son, Samuel, has been a regular patient at the hospital’s Shugborough children’s ward in the past. She wanted to do something to show her gratitude for his treatment.
Samuel, now aged three, suffers from asthma and had his first hospital stay when he was just a few months old.
Mrs Pettitt said: “Samuel was in the hospital a lot when he was younger due to his asthma and febrile fits – at least once a month. He’s much better now as he had his tonsils out earlier this year and it seems to have sorted things out.
“The staff and the treatment on the Shugborough Ward have always been fantastic and I thought the Christmas presents would be a nice way of saying thanks.”
Mrs Pettitt, who helped get new benches and a playhouse for the ward from Staffordshire Sheds a few years ago, asked for gift donations on a Rugeley Facebook page.
She was staggered at the response she received.
“It was overwhelming,” she said. “I posted the message on Wednesday night asking for people to pop an extra present in their shopping trolley and by Sunday my hallway was bursting with gifts. People have been so generous, turning up with two or three presents at a time. It’s been a good deed and it was a great feeling.”
In addition to local residents, local businesses also responded to the appeal.
“We had sacks full of presents from Chase Car Spares, in Cannock, Vision Estate Agents, Rugeley, 586061 Taxis, and 575050 Taxis. I can’t thank people enough, it’s been lovely,” she added.
Lynn Newell, Deputy Ward Manager said “We are really grateful to Sam’s mum and to the people and businesses of Rugeley for their kindness and generosity.
“It’s never nice to be in hospital over Christmas but the presents have already made a big difference to the children we’ve been looking after.”