Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice has created their very own version of the John Lewis advert ‘Buster the Boxer’, with the help of their mascot, George, and one of the families they support.
The John Lewis advert, which was released in November 2016, tells the story of a little girl who loves to jump, and her lovable dog, Buster. After the girl goes to bed, her parents build her a trampoline to ‘open’ on Christmas Day. During the night, a pair of foxes, a badger, and other animals, get to bounce on the trampoline while Buster looks on. On Christmas Day morning, Buster runs pasts the little girl and bounces on the trampoline first.
The family who starred in the Bluebell Wood advert were Kerry and Karl Salt, and their daughter, Isla. Isla loves to visit Bluebell Wood for short breaks with her brother, Adam, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease and uncontrolled epilepsy; after being born at just 32 weeks. He has lots of seizures and has to be fed directly into his stomach. As Adam has grown, his condition has worsened, as his chest and lungs are damaged due to the amount of chest infections he has endured.
Kerry said: “At first, we didn’t know what to expect. Passing your child over to someone else to care for is daunting at first. We’ve been coming to Bluebell Wood now for several years and it really feels like we’re part of the family. For someone else to get Adam’s drugs ready, means I can relax and get to do the nice Mummy bits rather than the nursing bits.”
“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of spending Christmas as a family is the Bluebell Wood Christmas Party. We have gone for the last three years and it’s a wonderful time for us to make memories, relax, and be together as a family. Bluebell Wood has helped us spend time with other families like ours. When we do Adam’s oxygen there is no one staring or wondering what we are doing because other families at Bluebell Wood are going through the same thing. Isla, especially, feels like she belongs. The Bluebell Wood ‘Buster the Boxer’ video was so much fun to make. Isla felt like the queen of Bluebell Wood!”
Maddy Oldale, Head of PR and Marketing at Bluebell Wood, said: “In recent years, the John Lewis adverts have signalled the countdown to Christmas. This year’s advert, Buster the Boxer, has created so many smiles up and down the country that we thought we could help share our vision of ‘living with love and laughter’ by continuing the story with one of our own families.”
Bluebell Wood cares for children and young adults with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions; and their families. Their services are wide-ranging and include end-of-life care, counselling, short breaks, sibling support, and much more.