Abel's toy appeal for Altnagelvin

Keeping a child entertained in hospital is no easy task, particularly when the ward doesn't have much in the way of toys or games.

But one local mum is hoping to change that with the launch of a Christmas Toy Appeal in aid of the children’s ward in Altnagelvin Hospital.

Lisa Storey’s one-year-old son, Abel, has spent a lot of time in ward six during his short life.

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He had a prolonged stay in the hospital in December last year as a result of a rare liver condition, Billiary Atresia.

Abel had a liver transplant in July and Lisa now wants to give something back to the hospital.

“When we stayed recently we soon learnt they were very low in toys and their budget is so stretched that sometimes they can’t buy the toys they need for the children or have enough to share amongst the children staying on the ward,” she said.

The children’s ward caters for babies to young adults, and these are two areas of particular need.

“Children need toys to help the time pass quickly.”

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“Toys can also help to distract children who are scared of having procedures done.”

Lisa has compiled a list of toys on Abel’s Facebook Page to give people an idea of what to buy.

All the toys need to be easily cleaned for infection control purposes, so toys containing fabric are not suitable.

Since Lisa posted the appeal on the social media site, more than 300 people have shared it.

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“The support so far has been brilliant. People know their child may never go into hospital, but there is always a chance. Having toys on the ward to suit all age ranges can make life easier for the child, parents and the staff.”

Starbucks in Crescent Link have kindly agreed to be the drop off point for the toys.

All toys musts be dropped into Starbucks by Sunday, December 18, so they can be delivered to the hospital in time for Christmas.

For more information and to view the list of toys visit www.facebook.com/AbelStorey2015