Tots at a Wingerworth nursery have rallied round in support of their two-year-old classmate as he bravely grapples with a rare bleeding disorder.
Wingerworth Tots and Toddler group were one of the first groups to sign up for Theo’s Walk and Picnic which will help raise money for a new Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Children, staff and parents were motivated by playgroup member Alfie Ambler who received life-saving treatment for severe haemophilia at the hospital.
Little Alfie was diagnosed with the condition in January 2018.
The youngster hit his head on a doorframe and his family took him to their GP.
After the bump continued to get worse, a night-time nosebleed prompted them to take him to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
A few days later, a follow-up appointment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital revealed that Alfie had severe haemophilia, despite the family having no prior history of the condition.
The disorder impairs the body’s ability to make blood clots, which stops bleeding.
This means that those affected bleed for longer after an injury and it increases risks of bruising and bleeding inside joints or the brain.
Mum Nicola, 36, said: “Alfie always bruised very easily and we’ve had several trips to the doctors with various bumps.
“It was a total shock. The last year has been a rollercoaster to say the least.”
Alfie needed infusions every other day at Sheffield Children’s Hospital to help replace the clotting factor in the blood that is missing or low in those affected by haemophilia.
He also then needed immune intolerance therapy, which required daily high-dose injections at the hospital.
“This was a very tricky time as it meant Alfie could not afford to have falls or bumps so it meant watching him all the time,” added Nicola.
The family now visit Sheffield Children’s Hospital every three months for blood tests and consultations, with injections at home now part of his daily routine.
“The care we have received and still do receive is outstanding.
“There’s lots of information to take in and this has been gradually explained to us. The staff have been a rock for us.
“They’re always on the other end of the phone, and they’ve even been to our house to give us a break from travelling.”
To say thank you, Alfie’s playgroup, Wingerworth Toddlers and Tots, have signed up to The Children’s Hospital Charity’s new event, a sponsored walk and picnic.
Once registered, participants receive a free fundraising pack which includes a guide, sponsorship forms and stickers.
Children who raise £1 will get a special Theo badge, those that raise £30 receive their own Theo bear and events which raise over £150 go into a draw to win a visit from Theo Bear himself with lots of goodies from The Children’s Hospital Charity.
Nicola added: “Alfie has been attending the playgroup all his life and I’m sure he’ll love the walk and picnic.
“ow he’s getting older and his treatment is more settled, we’ll be doing more fundraising for the hospital. This is just the start for us.”
All the proceeds from the event will go towards the appeal for a new Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Built to see a maximum of 32,000 patients a year, it now sees 60,000 every 12 months from across the region.
The expanded department would create much-needed space, particularly for patients arriving following a major trauma, who can require up to 15 members of staff at any one time in their treatment.
Abbie Pervin, Regional fundraising manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “With Theo’s Walk and Picnic, you can help young children when they need it the most, one small step at a time. We’re so thankful to Wingerworth Toddlers and Tots for all of their support.
“Every penny raised will help build a new Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, helping young patients from across the region for generations to come.”
The Children’s Hospital Charity are calling on families, nurseries and toddler groups from across the region to get involved.