Kidney op girl’s gift makes her Apple of Leeds General Infirmary

Hannah with mum Clare Whittaker, play specialist Anna Grisdale and Alison Bairstow, fundraiser.

Hannah with mum Clare Whittaker, play specialist Anna Grisdale and Alison Bairstow, fundraiser.

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A youngster has thanked the Leeds hospital ward which cared for her after a kidney transplant by presenting them with two iPads.

Hannah Whitaker inspired the firm where her mum Claire works to raise cash for the ward at Leeds General Infirmary.

They collected £800 and now other sick youngsters will be able to use the hi-tech gadgets while they are being treated.

Claire said: “We all had a great time raising the money and it’s lovely to know that it will help make the children’s stay in hospital a little bit better.

“Hannah found the play coordinators really helped make her time in hospital less stressful.

“She is feeling great following her kidney transplant and is thrilled to be able to give something back to say ‘thank you’.”

The youngster, from Alwoodley, Leeds, became ill last summer and eventually doctors realised her kidneys were failing because of an undiagnosed inherited condition.

First she underwent dialysis three times a week in hospital and then had haemodialysis each night at home.

This left her lethargic and affected her growth, while the permanent dialysis line meant she couldn’t go swimming or wash her hair at home.

In May, she underwent a kidney transplant after her dad Adrian donated an organ and is now full of energy.

Her mum’s colleagues at wealth management group Pearson Jones, at West Park, Leeds, were inspired by Hannah and held a dress down day there and at offices in Bishop Auckland, Reading and Sheffield.

There was also a sale of homemade baking, a raffle, quiz and games which raised £800 in total.

Play co-ordinators on the ward suggested that the money go towards the newest version of the iPad, which they said would be a brilliant tool distract the children on the ward whilst they were undergoing painful procedures.

Hannah has already raised the profile of Leeds Children’s Hospital, which is at LGI, through her artistic skills.

Encouraged by the hospital’s play specialists, she entered a national art competition designed to publicise how play in hospital can help youngsters.

Earlier this year her drawing, which she did while having to lie flat for six hours whilst having a procedure, was picked by comedian Harry Hill as the contest’s regional winner.

It was used to promote National Play in Hospital Week earlier in October.

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