Christmas toy donation to Children's Hospital at Tallaght

By Mary Dennehy

AN UNEXPECTED trip to A&E with her baby girl last Christmas Eve resulted in Tallaght mam Leanne Brophy spending Christmas Day in hospital.

Last Christmas Eve, Leanne brought her daughter Charli, who is now two years of age, to the A&E at the Children’s Hospital in Tallaght, where the toddler was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to a ward.

Leanne Brophy toys TUH 2 compressor

Leanne with the Christmas toys for the Children’s Hospital

This wasn’t the first Christmas Day little Charli from Homelawns spent in hospital, after she was admitted the previous Christmas due to bronchiolitis at just seven weeks old.

Remembering back to last year, Leanne, told The Echo: “It was horrible, myself and Charli’s dad were so worried.

“We were just looking at each other thinking, not another Christmas in hospital.”

At around 6.30am, Charli’s mam and dad closed their eyes, tired and worried for their little girl – and upset that Charli had spent her second Christmas in hospital.

However, when they opened their eyes on Christmas morning, they were met with a nice surprise.

“When we opened our eyes there were two presents at the end of Charli’s bed and she had been given a gingerbread man teddy, which she was hugging,” Leanne said.

“The staff are absolutely amazing in the children’s hospital, and when you get up onto the ward, the things they do for the kids is unbelievable.

“Waking up to those presents on Christmas morning made a huge difference to Charli and to us as parents.

“And, that feeling stuck with me all year.”

Wanting to give something back, Leanne started a toy collection with her family and friends for the children’s hospital at Tallaght – delivering the gifted toys to staff last Friday.

“Children in hospital at Christmas time is something you don’t want to think about, but it does happen . . . and it’s nice to try and help make it better,” Leanne said.

“Waking up to those presents for Charli on Christmas Day takes you back to what really matters at Christmas.

Leanne Brophy toys TUH compressor

Leanne with Charli on a recent holiday

“Somebody donated the toys Charli got to the hospital and we wanted to pay it forward and do something as a family.

“I hope these toys make a difference, it’s nice to get help.”

Leanne’s family and friends together donated €400 to the toy appeal, with Leanne buying presents for all ages, from babies right up to young teenagers.

Leanne purchased the toys and sent each person who donated a photograph of the gift purchased with their donation and the receipt.

Looking forward to spending Christmas at home this year, Leanne thanked all of her family and friends for donating to the appeal.

When contacted by The Echo, the Children’s Hospital at Tallaght expressed its appreciation to the community for its support.

According to Dr Ciara Martin, Clinical Director and Paediatric Executive Lead at Tallaght: “Each year we are astounded and delighted by the generosity of the families, friends and members of our local community.

“We really appreciate people taking a moment at such a busy time of year to think of children in hospital.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in our community.”

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