Derbyshire mum of brave little boy with ‘water on the brain’ praises hospital for his care

George Appleyard, four, enjoys story time.
George Appleyard, four, enjoys story time.

A Derbyshire mum has praised the work of Sheffield Children’s Hospital as her brave four-year-old son battles a rare nuerological condition at the facility.

Claire Rodgers, from Langwith, is mum to four-year-old George, who has hydrocephalus- also known as ‘water on the brain’.

George’s treatment at Sheffield Children’s includes a shunt, which is placed into his head and removes fluid safely.

George was the first child in the UK to have a gallbladder shunt put in at the hospital in 2016.

Despite having spent last Christmas at the hospital after having a seizure, which caused many complications for the youngster, Claire says it hasn’t changed his outlook on life.

In fact, he’s well known among staff for his ‘lovely smile’.

“George is one of the most lovely little boys- a unique little miracle,” said Claire.

“Just in December four surgeries on his brain, but as soon as he comes around from surgery he gives me a smile.”

Staff say George’s favourite activity while staying at the hospital is story time.

He can often be found enjoying a good book with the hospital Teaching Team, who describe him as a ‘fighter’ and a ‘cheeky little monkey’.

“Everyone at Sheffield Children’s has been really good with George,” added Claire. “We feel like we know everyone here.”

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is one of only four dedicated children’s hospital trusts in the UK, so children from Derbyshire often travel to the hospital for treatment.

To find out more about the hospital or to make a donation, visit