Lasting legacy of love

YOUNG patients at Ipswich Hospital are today enjoying the benefits of an educational lifeline - thanks to enduring love for a boy who died of leukaemia.

YOUNG patients at Ipswich Hospital are today enjoying the benefits of an educational lifeline - thanks to enduring love for a boy who died of leukaemia.

Children being treated on Bergholt and Boxford wards can now study on a top-of-the range laptop computer, presented to hospital staff by the parents of Simon Crofts.

Simon had leukaemia for three years before he died in 2000 and his family and friends at his funeral collected £1,000. As a result of the care Simon received, his family decided the money should go to a fund in the ward.

One of the important aspects of care in the childrens' unit is to continue with their education. The gift from Simon's parents enables the youngsters to study a variety of programmes - and hopefully an e-mail link is to be installed so they can keep in contact with school friends and teachers.


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Lesley McGhee, sister on the Bergholt Ward, said: "This computer is invaluable for us and it is a lifeline for the children in the hospital.

"It is normality for them in a strange environment and it encourages them to learn.

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"This was money raised at the funeral in memory of Simon, but we will not give it to children and say you can just play on the computer.

"The days where a child just sits in a bed are gone. We try to make the hospital environment as normal as possible."

The computer has a plaque on it saying 'Donated to Bergholt Ward by friends and family of Simon Crofts' and hospital staff promised to look after the computer.

"It is very precious and the children must respect it," said Ruth Pickover, the hospital teacher.

She added: "Educational provision for children in hospital has been greatly enhanced by the donation of this computer. It is an excellent resource and one which will be in daily use.

"We are trying to build up the school resources for the children and are most grateful to the family and friends of Simon who have been very generous."

If anyone has educational resources or equipment they would like to donate please contact the unit on 01473 702067.

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