Preston schoolgirl revealed as one of the faces of Matalan's Christmas Alder Hey pyjama campaign

Abigail in the new PJs with her surgeon Benedetta and physio Carol.
Abigail in the new PJs with her surgeon Benedetta and physio Carol.
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10-year-old Preston schoolgirl Abigail Mckenzie has been revealed as one of the faces of Alder Hey and Matalan’s annual collaboration to help raise much needed funds for the hospital charity.

Abigail has cerebral palsy, a lifelong condition which affects movement and co-ordination caused by the brain.

But thanks to an innovative operation at Alder Hey, Abigail has been given a new lease of life.

Her parents first noticed something wasn’t quite right when Abigail’s twin sister Ellie was reaching milestones such as sitting up quicker than Abigail.

Abigail was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after a brain scan leaving her family to quickly adapt to Abigail’s new and overwhelming routine of regular hospital appointments and physio.

Recently she has had Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery which was performed by surgeon Ms Benedetta Pettorini.

Mum Helen said “The operation has been a godsend. Abigail can now do independent stepping, climb the stairs, get in and out of the bath...all things she couldn’t do beforehand which have really helped to increase her independence and confidence.

"We can’t thank Miss Pettorini and the team enough for the care we received. And of course Carol and the amazing physio team who work with her tirelessly to help give her the best future.”

To show support for this year’s campaign, Matalan are asking people to share pictures of themselves holding hands with friends and family, wearing their Alder Hey PJ’s and using the hashtag #TogetherForAlderHey.

Together the images will form a long chain of people across social media, showing how far and wide the support for Alder Hey spans.

The campaign is also supported by Matalan’s celebrity brand ambassadors Denise Van Outen, Mark Wright and Lydia Bright.

Jason Hargreaves, Matalan CEO said: “The patients and staff at Alder Hey will never cease to amaze and inspire me. Every day these people face into unthinkable challenges, but they do it all with the strength of the Alder Hey community behind them. That family mindset and spirit of togetherness is what makes Alder Hey a truly special place – and that was the inspiration behind this year’s campaign.”

Fiona Ashcroft, CEO Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “We are so excited about this year’s #TogetherForAlderHey campaign. This is our sixth campaign with Matalan and we are incredibly proud and humbled by their continued support.

This year’s product range includes unisex adult and children’s PJs, a baby grow, bed socks, an eye mask and mug, all with a colourful print made up of figures holding hands and Alder Hey’s iconic Oli the Elephant.

Prices: Adult PJs £12.50, Children’s PJ’s £8.50, Baby Grow £5.50, Pet Outfit £5.50, Eye Mask £2.50, Mug £2.50, Socks from £2.50.

You can purchase items here: https://www.matalan.co.uk/charity/alder-hey/together-for-alder-hey