Richmond School donates presents to children in hospital

Parents Holly-Anne and Sam with Maisie-Mae to left of tree, Emily Earnshaw (Maisie-Mae’s Grandma) and Marcus Weston to the right of the tree.

More than 60 Christmas presents have been donated by staff at Richmond School and Sixth Form College for children who are too poorly to go home and will be spending Christmas at the Great North Children’s Hospital.

Emily Earnshaw, who works in the student restaurant at Richmond School, was inspired to give something back to the RVI following the incredible care Maisie-Mae, her granddaughter received in the first 11 weeks of her life.

Maisie-Mae was born with TOF, Tracheo-Oesphageal Fistula, a rare congenital condition of the food pipe, which meant her oesophagus was attached to her trachea making it impossible for her to eat.

Within minutes of being born at the James Cook Hospital, eight weeks’ premature and weighing just 3lb 4oz, she was in an ambulance on her way to the RVI where she underwent a ten-hour life-saving operation.

Maisie-Mae then had to stay in hospital until she was eight-weeks old to have a second operation, where part of her bowel was cut away and her oesophagus attached to her stomach using a piece of her bowel.

The operation has been a complete success and Maisie can now feed naturally and is blooming.

Maisie-Mae’s parents, Sam Atkins and Honey-Anne Earnshaw from Catterick, who are both ex-students at Richmond School, spent the first 11 weeks of Maisie-Mae’slife with her at the RVI, staying at Crawford House, wonderful facilities provided by The Sick Children’s Trust.

As well as the incredible hoard of gifts that are winging their way to the hospital, Marcus Weston, a Year 9 student at Richmond School, has also raised an amazing amount for the RVI.

Marcus suffers with CFC Syndrome, and spent most of the first year of his life at the RVI.

Through a number of fundraising activities at School, Marcus has been able to give a beautiful hamper to the staff at the RVI to enjoy on Christmas day as well as an additional £146 as a donation.

Honey-Anne said: “A massive thank you to all the staff who have donated such fabulous presents, it is hugely appreciated, as it could quite easily have been us this year who were spending Christmas in hospital.

“An extra-special thank you to Marcus for everything he has done to help the sick children.”