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Christmas comes early for brave Wirral boy
A LITTLE boy who has spent most of his life in hospital was treated to an early Christmas present when he was guest of honour at Santa’s special multi-sensory grotto.
George Johnson, from Wallasey, took centre stage when he visited the grotto - in Birkenhead’s Pyramids Shopping Centre – that is raising money for the hospice that helps him.
The three-year-old, who has spent much of his short life travelling back and forth from Great Ormond Street Hospital and has had 75 operations, suffers from a mystery illness affecting his digestive system.
His rare condition means he struggles to eat or drink and has to be fed via a tube through his heart.
Despite this, the brave St George’s Primary School pupil was determined to see Santa, visiting his grotto with five-year-old sister Ava and mum Emma.
“The grotto is absolutely lovely and George and Ava have had a wonderful time,” said 32-year-old Emma.
“George told me he didn’t want to go because he was having too much fun and his face when Santa came out to greet him was a picture.”
The grotto, which will be open on various dates leading up to the big day, has been funded by the shopping centre and will be staffed by volunteers from the hospice, with all money going directly to Claire House Hospice.
It has been designed as a light and sound winter wonderland to echo the multi-sensory light room at the hospice which literally brightens the lives of those who use it.
“The fact it is raising so much money for Claire House is brilliant because the charity has been so important to us for so many different reasons.”
When George is not being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital and is at home in Wallasey, the Claire House Hospice to Home Team step in to allow Emma and husband Neil a break from being carers.
“Having the support of the Hospice to Home Team has been such a comfort to Neil and I, as well as George and his big sister Ava,” explained Emma.
“Hospitals are quite a scary prospect for George, although he is getting used to them.
“But having the Hospice to Home Team means that, if I need a break for a couple of hours, I know he’s in the very best hands while not having to go to a hospital or leave the comfort of home.”
The Johnson family is currently fundraising for a trip to Ohio for a £15,000 consultation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
For more information about George, or to donate, visit teamgeorge01.wix.com
Claire House Santa’s Grotto is open 12pm to 5pm on December 12 and 13, 11am to 5pm on December 14 and 15, 12pm to 5pm on December 18, 19 and 20, 11am to 5pm on December 21 and 22, 12pm to 5pm on December 23 and 11am to 3pm on Christmas Eve.
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