SCHOOLGIRL Adriana Ceple spent last Christmas in hospital recovering from chemotherapy.
After beating leukaemia, the 11-year-old is now enjoying this year’s festive season at home with dad Edgars, mum Raimonda, sister Kristiana, 18 and one-year-old brother Elias.
And she is for ever grateful to the staff at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), who brought festive cheer to her bedside last year — and gifts paid for by the GOSH Children’s Charity.
She is now backing The Sun’s Joy To The Ward Christmas appeal for NHS Charities Together, supporting nearly 240 NHS charities across the UK including GOSH’s Children’s Charity.
Money raised will give help to young hospital patients and their families, from Christmas gifts, specialist equipment and ward play-workers to providing a home away from home for parents of sick kids.
Adriana said of her hospital stay: “I got lots of presents and everyone really looked after us.” Raimonda added: “The staff did all they could. There were decorations and Adriana got so many presents.
“I’d been staying in hospital with her so went home to be with my other children while Edgars spent the day with Adriana.”
After her diagnosis in August last year, Adriana needed three months’ chemo.
She also underwent a bone-marrow transplant because she had a high risk of the cancer returning and was laid up in hospital over Christmas recovering.
It was at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital that Raimonda and building firm owner Edgars, both 37, were given the bombshell news of Adriana’s diagnosis.
Raimonda said: “We went into a room and were told. I don’t remember much after that. It goes blank. I know I was crying.
“One of the worries was how to tell Adriana. The doctors gave me a book to explain it. She cried when we told her. We all cried together.
“For three days I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. It was very stressful.”
Adriana was then moved to GOSH for treatment. Raimonda said: “From the moment we arrived, everyone made us welcome and there was always someone to answer questions.”
Adriana’s parents knew she would be in hospital at Christmas so organised an early family celebration at home in November.
Raimonda of High Wycombe, Bucks, said: “We got the Christmas tree out, decorated the house and had a Christmas dinner. Adriana loved it, as she knew she’d get more presents in December.”
Her transplant was a success and she was discharged in January. She returns to hospital for check-ups and will be long-term on medication but recently returned to school part-time.
HOW TO GIVE
The Sun’s Joy To The Ward appeal is raising money for NHS Charities Together, the national, independent charity supporting more than 230 NHS charities across the UK.
Your donations will help support children and families going through the toughest times imaginable, providing specialist equipment and services along with toys, play- workers, parents’ accommodation and much more.
DONATE ONLINE: Scan the QR code above with your phone camera to go straight through to our donation page or visit nhscharitiestogether.givesafely.org/joy.
DONATE BY TEXT: Text JOY to 70607 to donate £10 to NHS Charities Together. You’ll be charged £10, plus one message at your standard network rate. NHS Charities Together will receive 100% of your donation.
DONATE BY POST: Use the coupon on the left.
- NHS Charities Together is the trading name of the Association of NHS Charities. Registered Charity No 1186569 (England & Wales) and SC050716 (Scotland). Company No 12325259
She said of this Christmas: “My baby brother is only one and I am excited to help him open presents.” Of our appeal, Raimonda added: “If anyone can donate to help children like Adriana, we would be happy.”
Another championing the cause is Will Bayley, Paralympic table tennis champion and former GOSH patient.
He said: “When I was a child, GOSH saved my life. Christmas there is special. The hospital is filled with decorations, music fills the corridors and every child wakes on Christmas morning to presents.
“Supporting the GOSH charity at this time of year is so important. I hope Sun readers get behind the appeal.”
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