Thanks for ‘wonderful’ care given to son, 12

GRATEFUL parents Louise Read and James Hunt are raising money for Worthing Hospital as a thank you for their son’s care.

Westley with Shannan, ten, Florence, two, Isabella, one, and Sofia, four months
Westley with Shannan, ten, Florence, two, Isabella, one, and Sofia, four months

Westley Read, 12, has been in and out of hospital since he was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at the start of the year.

Having experienced what it is like in hospital for children, his parents now want to thank the ‘wonderful’ staff by fundraising for play equipment.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Louise said: “Our aim is to hopefully raise enough money to purchase some tablet-type computers for the children to use to help pass the time, or maybe even distract them from any treatments they may be going through.

“We found this a help to Westley when having bloods taken, as he is not a big fan of needles.

“If we are very lucky, we may even have enough money to buy a games console for the playroom and some other toys and games.”

The eldest of five children, Westley suffers from pain in most of his major joints, but he is determined not to let it stop him. One of his biggest passions is fishing and he is Henfield Angling Society’s junior champion.

Louise said: “Westley is fairing reasonably well, all things considered. The biggest thing that he has had to become accustomed to in all this is the routine of taking his medication.

“Due to the nature of the illness, Westley spent quite a few worrying nights on the ward when they were really unsure as to why Westley was so ill.

“What really stood out to us, though, was the professionalism, commitment and just the general pleasant feel that was generated on the ward by all the wonderful staff who worked there and the facilities they offer to keep the children’s minds occupied and thoughts away from what may or may not be wrong.

“The play staff are absolutely brilliant with the children and deserve every bit of support they can get. In our eyes, they are just as important as the doctors and nurses when it comes to the children.”

She and James, of Priory Field, Upper Beeding, are holding a jumble sale and raffle on Saturday, from 11am to 1.30pm.

Clothes, books, toys and bric-a-brac will be on sale at the Gladys Bevan Hall, Church Lane, Upper Beeding. Tea and cake will also be available.

Louise said: “We all hope our children stay healthy and have no need to spend too long in hospital, but knowing there are people working out there who really do go above and beyond for our children makes us a little bit happier, knowing that if they are needed, they are there.

“Unfortunately, these levels of care can only be maintained on this ward, and on many others up and down the country, with the generosity and goodwill of others.”

Donations can be taken to the hall from 9am.