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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Former patient remembered by children's ward staff

Former patient remembered by children's ward staff

Posted on Tuesday 19th March 2013
Fairfield Ward charity walk

Fairfield Ward staff get ready for their walk. PIC: Mike McKenzie/Whitehaven News

A team of children’s ward staff from West Cumberland Hospital are taking on a tough charity challenge in memory of a former patient who died last November.

Isla Holliday was born with a very rare genetic disorder called Schinzel Giedion syndrome. Her life expectancy was two years but she lived until she was four-and-a-half, making her one of the oldest survivors in the world with the condition.

During her short life Isla received care on Fairfield Ward, the children’s ward at West Cumberland Hospital, and now her family and friends are raising money for the ward to say thank you for all they did for Isla. They are also fundraising for the Rainbow Trust, a charity which gives emotional and practical support to families with children that have a life threatening or terminal illness.

They are taking part in events throughout the year, including the London Marathon, a coast to coast cycle ride and a skydive. Isla’s mum Kelly contacted the staff on Fairfield to see whether they would like to join in with the next fundraising endeavour – the 32-mile Workington to Keswick walk on Sunday 24 March – and seven members of staff have risen to the challenge.

Hospital play specialist Kelly Agnew and nurses Jenna Tweedie, Sue Burns, Ben Frampton, Carole Parker, Zoe Milburn and Allyson Irving have all been in training for the epic walk, which is not only further than a marathon but takes in some serious Lakeland peaks.

Kelly said: “Isla’s mum asked if anyone from the ward would take part in memory of Isla and to raise money. We agreed to do it – and then realised how far it was. I wish I’d said I would do the marathon now!

“We think it’s going to take at least 10 hours. We are aiming for three miles an hour but it goes over Honister Pass so you’ve got to take the hills into account.

“I’m only doing it because of Isla – she was such a lovely little girl and we all got to know her well. We just want her parents to know we haven’t forgotten about her.”

Any donations to the team’s fundraising efforts can be made in person at Fairfield Ward at West Cumberland Hospital or by calling 01946 693181 ext 4163.