BRAVE young hospital patients had a surprise visit from Leeds United players to help spread some Christmas cheer.
Youngsters at Leeds Children’s Hospital were visited by stars including Stephen Warnock, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook, Adryan, Mirco Antenucci and Marco Silvestri today.
Players handed out signed merchandise and chatted to patients and parents at the children’s hospital, which is based at Leeds General Infirmary.
Mark Stansfield’s four-month-old daughter Millie is currently being treated at the hospital for flu, pneumonia and a viral infection.
Mark, from Swarcliffe, east Leeds, said: “I’m a big Leeds fan so I was nervous.
“It’s really nice for them to come down. It’s brilliant.”
Adorable youngster Eden Rose is being treated for Hirschsprung’s disease and has been in and out of hospital most of her life.
Mum Vanessa Gilbert said: “We are Leeds fans so it’s nice to see new faces on the ward and I think it brightens all the kids up a little bit.”
Michelle Wood’s son Jack Lawrence is recovering at the hospital after an operation on his bowel.
Michelle said: “It’s brilliant to meet the players. It means the world to us.
“For them to spend time here and to see our son in hospital just to perk him up is wonderful.”
United star Stephen Warnock said: “We come down and try and help out as much as we can.
“We understand it’s a difficult situation for parents and having your children in hospital is such a tough time.
“A few of the lads here now are parents as well so they understand the severity of it and how important it is to come down and give them a bit of a lift.” Speaking about his own Christmas plans, he said: “My Christmas will probably be a bit of a hectic one.
“I have got two young kids myself and we normally have training on Christmas Day and we’re in a hotel as well so it’s not really one where we can sit down and enjoy it like everyone else as we’re working but that’s what we’ve become used to.”
In a New Year’s message for the fans, he said: “Stick by us and hopefully we can try and turn things round.
“We know it’s been difficult of late but we’re trying our best.”
Emma Marshall, play specialist at the Leeds Children’s Hospital said: “It was a delight to welcome Leeds United.
“They’ve certainly brightened up the day for a lot of our patients, some of whom will be spending Christmas on the wards.”
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