A North Anston boy who recovered from meningitis against all the odds has been guest of honour at the re-opening of the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice shop in Dinnington after our new refit.
Harrison Elmer, now three, came to Bluebell Wood for end of life care when he was just three weeks old but to everyone’s amazement, made a miraculous recovery. His family has raised more than £8,000 for Bluebell Wood since then. Mum Sam, Dad Adam, and nannie Sally helped Harrison to cut the ribbon at the re-opening of the shop in Laughton Road.
Stocking good quality second-hand toys and clothes as well as new items, the new store is managed by Alison Firth and Hayley Manning. Hayley Manning said: “We were delighted to celebrate our opening day with Harrison and his family. They’ve been fantastic supporters of Bluebell Wood over the last few years as they understand just how much every penny raised can help to support families facing the toughest of times.
“Everyone who shops, donates or volunteers at the store will be helping our work caring for children and young adults across South Yorkshire with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions.”
One of the first shoppers through the door was Joan Brandon, who said: “This is a lovely shop. I really like the mix of new goods and quality second hand items. Bluebell Wood is one of the best charities around and by coming here to shop, people can do their bit to support local children.”
Now an active toddler interested in cars, planes and all the things any toddler would love, Harrison didn’t have the start to life his parents Samantha and Adam had hoped for. At just three-weeks-old, he contracted meningitis and was rushed into hospital. The tot’s life hung in the balance and after a very worrying few days, Samantha and Adam were told by doctors that nothing more could be done for him. They decided to move to Bluebell Wood, to spend their final, precious days with Harrison, surrounded by all of their family and friends.
Samantha said: “But then the most amazing thing happened. The nurse removed Harrison’s ventilator and he continued breathing. I can’t describe how incredible that moment was; it was the happiest of our lives.
A few months later Harrison was discharged from Bluebell Wood. His illness has affected him in a few ways and he wears a hearing aid, glasses and has cerebral palsy on one side. His nanny, Sally, who is now a Parent Trustee at Bluebell Wood, said: “His development is slower but he is such a happy, lovely boy. He goes to several appointments each month but never complains. He just gets on with everything.”
Samantha: “Bluebell Wood means an awful lot to us. This shop is only around the corner for us so we’re busy telling people to donate any items they no longer need and to shop here. By coming here to buy clothes, books and toys, people will be helping Bluebell Wood to support families like mine when they most need it.”
Bluebell Wood is currently looking for friendly volunteers to help sort, size and tag donations and to help serve customers and operate the till during opening hours, 9am-4.00pm every Monday to Saturday. If you have a few spare hours each week and are interested in a voluntary position, please drop into the Dinnington shop for an application form.