22 Nov #Basildon: Children donate toys to young patients
When Colin Ashburn and his wife Lisa suggested their two children should clear out some of their toys, the youngsters knew just who they wanted to give them to.
This time last year, Colin, 48, was given a new lease of life after a kidney transplant following an organ donation from a work colleague, Heather O’Connell. Colin had been on dialysis and cared for by the renal nurses at Basildon University Hospital for three years until a donor came forward. His daughter Eve, aged nine, and son Daniel, aged five, wanted to give something back to the hospital that looked after their dad.
This week, Colin visited the playroom on the children’s wards to present the toys. He was greeted by young patient Oliver Bennett, aged five, and his four-year-old brother Georgie, from Basildon, who quickly found a toy plane and a bus to play with.
Afterwards, Colin dropped into the renal unit at Basildon Hospital, to say hello to some of the nurses who looked after him while he waited for a kidney transplant.
Colin is now back at work as health and safety manager at a London hospital, and is planning to resume voluntary work as a special constable with Essex Police, which he had to stop after he was diagnosed with kidney failure.
He said: “I feel incredibly well, and have done for the last year since the transplant. I will always be so grateful to Heather for donating a kidney to me, and to the renal team at Basildon Hospital who kept me going all that time. I was very pleased that my kids understood how important that was, and that they wanted to give something to say thank you.”
Laura Ryan, play leader at Basildon Hospital, said: “These are lovely toys, all clean and in really good condition. Our patients and visitors will enjoy having new things to play with, so thanks to Eve and Daniel.”