Smiles for youngsters with missing and prosthetic limbs at Christmas celebrations

Photo Ian Robinson'Specialist Mobility Rehabilitation Centre in Fulwood annual Christmas party for children who have lost limb/been born without them and have prosthetic limbs, Dr Fergus Jepson, Kieran Maxwell, 16 and his sister Alyssa, nine, with Father Christmas
Photo Ian Robinson'Specialist Mobility Rehabilitation Centre in Fulwood annual Christmas party for children who have lost limb/been born without them and have prosthetic limbs, Dr Fergus Jepson, Kieran Maxwell, 16 and his sister Alyssa, nine, with Father Christmas
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Youngsters born with limb problems and those who have had amputations enjoyed a Christmas party at a specialist centre.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals’ Specialist Mobility Rehabilitation Centre welcomed young patients from all over the North West and their families for an afternoon of party food, games, entertainment – and even a visit from Father Christmas.

The party is funded by charitable donations and by the charity Reach, which supports children and families with upper limb conditions and amputations.

Dr Fergus Jepson, consultant in rehabilitation medicine, said: “We have held a Christmas party for our young patients for a number of years now and it gives the children good memories of this place.

“Many of the parents and children have told us how much they enjoy the parties as they get the chance to meet other families and young people going through similar experiences.

“A lot of the children have made good friendships with some of the other young patients and they keep in touch throughout the year and enjoy meeting up at the Christmas party.

“It is a real community event and all the staff look forward to seeing the children and seeing how well they are progressing and growing in confidence.”

Cheryl Danson, North West branch co-ordinator of Reach, said: “We get children from all over the North West coming to this party and they love meeting other children with limb conditions and knowing they are not alone.

“The parents also look forward to the party as they get to meet up and share experiences with other families.”

Karen Ledsham and husband Paul attended the party with son Harrison, 12.

Harrison was diagnosed with bone cancer earlier this year and as a consequence, he had to have his leg amputated because of a tumour above his left knee.

Mum Karen said: “Harrison was referred to the specialist centre in Preston and now has a prosthetic leg and is coping really well.

“This Christmas party is a great idea and it is lovely for the children to come to the centre for something fun.”