Elizabeth is seven years old and her Dad serves in the Royal Marines.
Last Christmas she was diagnosed with Leukaemia. She was initially treated at Bristol Children’s Hospital before her care was moved moving to a specialist hospital.
When Elizabeth was just about to enter the most intensive part of her two year chemotherapy treatment plan, the Covid19 pandemic struck.
Elizabeth spent a huge amount of time in hospital and it went from a fun happy place with play therapists dropping in, toy lends from the playroom to nothing at all. Everything had to become sterile for Elizabeth and for so many severely clinically vulnerable children having treatment.
Elizabeth wanted to do something to make it more fun for the other oncology children on the ward through this time so she and her family decided to make some boxes known as “Elizabeth’s boxes” to keep smiles on faces and make Hospital more fun! These boxes were full of activities, toys, books, games and treats. Elizabeth also made sensory boxes for children with sensory processing difficulties, as she wanted to make hospital fun for everyone!
Elizabeth also realised that the Nurses, Doctors and cleaners were working extra hard so she decided to make some boxes for them too.
Donations for the boxes initially came from friends and family but then in time, and because the boxes proved so popular, Elizabeth and her family set up a little Facebook page with an Amazon wish list.
Lots of wonderful donations arrived and Elizabeth has been excited to get to make so many boxes. The best thing was that making the boxes was something she could do from her wheelchair, her bed and between naps, she looked forward to going into hospital to have treatment as she knew she would be taking her boxes and making people smile! The thank-you letters spurred her on and when she hit 100 boxes she took her “100 balloon” in to show all the nurses.
Elizabeth has now made an amazing 180 boxes and has recently started making boxes for her local hospital as well.
Elizabeth’s mum told us “We are so appreciative to all who have supported Elizabeth’s venture and brought joy to so many children, staff and parents. Elizabeth is determined to make hospital more fun with her boxes and she inspires us everyday.”
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said “ We have been so impressed by Elizabeth’s bravery and thoughtfulness for others during such a difficult time. Her determination to help cheer up other children in hospital is so special. She really is an inspiration.”
Elizabeth will receive a Little Troopers medal, certificate and special prize as part of her award. Well done Elizabeth, you’re a real Little Trooper!