Hospital relief for tsunami victims

CHILDREN whose lives were turned upside down in the Asian tsunami disaster could soon be receiving some little rays of hope from Ipswich Hospital.Physiotherapist Jenny Schurr is embarking on a mission to send as many knitted teddies out to the disaster-hit area as possible, in a bid to show the children people are thinking of them.

CHILDREN whose lives were turned upside down in the Asian tsunami disaster could soon be receiving some little rays of hope from Ipswich Hospital.

Physiotherapist Jenny Schurr is embarking on a mission to send as many knitted teddies out to the disaster-hit area as possible, in a bid to show the children people are thinking of them.

For Mrs Schurr, the days after the tsunami were particularly traumatic as she waited to hear news from her brother, Christopher, and his family who were holidaying on Phi Phi Island in Thailand.

For six days they tried desperately to contact him, with no success, but finally they received the news they were all safe and well.


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Mrs Schurr, 46, said: "It was awful, a complete nightmare, for six days we had no idea if he was alive or dead.

"When he finally contacted us it turned out he did not realise how huge it had been. He assumed it was only confined to the area where they were staying.

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"At the time the quake struck he was actually deep sea diving. He must be the luckiest man on earth!"

Christopher, a policeman from Surrey, eventually extended his stay in Thailand to help out with the recovery operation.

Mrs Schurr's daughter Katy, 15, was also directly affected by the disaster as she shared a dormitory at Kings School in Canterbury with Lord Attenborough's granddaughter Lucy, who died in Phuket.

Mrs Schurr said: "I couldn't go through this and not do anything to help. I thought 'I've got to do something'.

"I dug out an old knitting pattern I had used before to make teddies for Romania and set about making some to send to the areas where the tsunami hit."

Now her colleagues and patients are getting busy with their needles and creating a multitude of the tiny teddies.

Mrs Schurr said: "I've already got several patients working on them and I'm trying to get as many people as possible to have a go at making them.

"I've got a pile of patterns in my room for colleagues to come and pick up."

Mrs Schurr is hoping to work with her daughter's school, who are organising their own tsunami relief collection, to get the teddies out to the affected areas.

If you would like to knit a teddy, patterns are available from the oncology reception desk, which is at entrance 15 of Ipswich Hospital.

For more details call Jenny Schurr on 01473 704033 between 8am and 1pm.

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