Press release: Young heart patients showered with cards and gifts on Valentine's Day

Valentines on Ocean WardYoung heart patients at Southampton Children’s Hospital celebrated Valentine’s Day on the wards with hundreds of handmade cards and gifts sent in by local schools and nurseries.

Staff saw an immediate response to a community appeal launched on social media last week as items flowed in from across the city.

Schools and nurseries involved included Redroofs Nursery, Weston Park Primary, St Monica Infant, Ludlow Infant, Little 1 Nursery, Cupernham Infant, Foundry Lane Infant, Fairisle Infant and Prince’s Mead School.

The children’s cardiac department – known as E1 or ocean ward – sees babies and children up to 18 years old and receives referrals from 23 district hospitals across the south of England and the Channel Islands.

It is part of a clinical network partnership with Oxford Children’s Hospital and cares for more than 10,000 patients from across the South of England.

Among the gifts received by children were biscuits, cuddly toys and specially-made Valentine’s cupcakes donated by Wow Cupcakes.

“The response to our Valentine’s campaign for children on the unit has been incredible and we are so grateful to everyone who got involved,” said Catherine Roberts, acting ocean ward manager.

“Patients’ faces lit up when they opened their cards and it is a welcome distraction from their treatment.

“Just for them to know that so many people are thinking of them really means a lot – we really saw a lot of love from the community.”

Families can be with patients on the ward for several months so they develop great relationships with the staff.

Chris Judd, father of 10-month-old Harry, said: “We have been so impressed with the care on the ward and little things like this really help to distract the kids. It has really brightened their day.”

Posted on Wednesday 27 February 2019