Children at Abacus Pre-School, based in the Poplar Rooms on North Road, Stoke Gifford, have been wearing their ‘wrong trousers’ in order to raise money for the ‘Grand Appeal’, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity.
During the week beginning Monday 10th June, the children made a donation in order to wear some wacky trousers to their pre-school sessions. Throughout the week, the children, as well as the staff, turned up wearing pyjama bottoms, brightly coloured leggings and trousers with a multitude of patterns on them. The donations given, added to money raised at a cake sale at the recent Stoke Gifford Fête, totalled £142.
The Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity is a charity that is very close to the hearts of those at Abacus as one of their own children, Brodi, has unfortunately had to spend a lot of time at the hospital in recent months. Here is Brodi’s story, recounted by his mum, Maria:
“In March 2018 Brodi underwent a full body MRI scan to get answers to a growth in his skull. Results showed Brodi has a condition called a Chiari Malformation; this is where the base of the brain (cerebellum) is descending into the spinal canal reducing the flow of CSF fluid to the brain.”
“Some adults and children can live with this condition and never experience any symptoms or need for intervention, however, on 10th November 2018 Brodi woke in the night crying with head pain and being sick, he had also lost all feeling in his legs. After numerous tests and scans at the wonderful Bristol Children’s hospital it was apparent Brodi had a large build-up of fluid within his brain. The doctors were quick to react and Brodi had a shunt insertion to reduce the pressure of the build-up. After a 2 week stay in hospital Brodi was allowed home to continue his recovery.”
“Unfortunately, his recovery was very slow and hospital stays were becoming weekly. Brodi’s headaches remained and so did the sickness. The decision was taken to carry out a second operation in April 2019 called a Chiari Decompression. This involved removing part of the skull and top vertebrae to allow a more fluent flow of CSF fluid through the spinal canal into the brain. Brodi was given a 50/50 chance to whether this operation would cure his symptoms or make them worse and the risks with this type of surgery were also very high. Thankfully after another long recovery Brodi’s symptoms got better and his quality of life was restored.”
“Although Brodi still needs 24/7 care in case the shunt malfunctions and the pressure builds up again, we as a family owe Bristol children’s hospital Neurological department a huge thank-you for saving our sons life. The care was outstanding at every hospital visit and stay. The hard work both nurses and doctors put in to caring for all the patients is outstanding.”
All of the other Abacus Pre-School settings in the area also took part in the wrong trousers fundraising event, bringing the total amount raised to £256.71. Kirsty Goodman, manager of Abacus in Stoke Gifford, said:
“The staff members here at stoke Gifford would like to thank the parents and children for participating in wrong trousers week. We have seen some really wacky trousers and received a great amount of donations. Thank you very much for your donations.”
The money raised by Abacus will go a long way towards helping sick children and their families at Bristol Children’s Hospital. The charity raises vital funds to provide medical equipment, family accommodation and child-friendly facilities and artwork. To find out more about the Grand Appeal and what it funds, visit www.grandappeal.org.uk
Photos: 1 Brodi (2nd from left) with dad Ryan, sister Taylor and mum Maria. 2 Children at the pre-school wearing their ‘wrong trousers’.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on pages 24 & 25). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.