Young competition winner donates prize money to thank PICU superheroes
A young competition winner has donated her cash prize to thank the PICU “superheroes without capes” that saved her life.
In February 2018, eight-year-old Kara-Amber Wheatley woke with a terrible headache. When she suddenly became limp and her eyes began to roll, her worried parents rushed her to the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH).
Medics found that youngster from Darras Hall in Ponteland had a critical bleed on her brain.
Surgeons quickly operated to stop the bleed which was caused by an abnormal blood vessel that had ruptured.
After 11 days in hospital Kara-Amber went on to make a remarkable recovery. Now fit and well, she has given back to the hospital that saved her life after winning a local competition.
The ‘design a rainbow’ competition was dreamt up by kind neighbours Leanne Anderson and Chris Mcvay. First place offered a £100 donation to go to an NHS charity and £50 cash for the winner.
Kara-Amber chose to donate the £100 to the GNCH’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The generous schoolgirl also hopes to use her £50 to purchase art supplies for Ward 1b.
Speaking about her win Kara-Amber said:
“I was so excited to win the competition and it was really fun to take part in. I got to do two things I love, giving back to the NHS and arts and crafts!
“In hospital, the smallest thing can help take your mind off the things going on around you. As well as donating to PICU I thought it would be nice to also give art supplies to Ward 1B. While getting better, arts and crafts really helped with my coordination and gave me something to look forward to.
“The GNCH is an amazing place filled with lovely, caring people. Everyone is there for you to help you get better and strong again, so you shouldn’t worry one bit. You are in very safe hands, they are the real super heroes without capes.”
Parents Katherine and Kevin added:
“We were truly over whelmed by the amazing care Kara-Amber received. We spent the first few crucial days on PICU, where she was all wired up after under going brain surgery. It all felt very surreal. I had never really thought about the term ‘intensive care’ before, until I could see, how intense it really is. There’s constant bleeping and monitoring of machines but the nurses remain so focused, caring and attentive.
“After fantastic care and incredible progress, we were quickly moved to Ward 1B. The physios and play specialists there encouraged Kara-Amber to engage in arts and crafts to help with her recovery and to regain and retune fine motor skills.
“We are forever grateful to the amazing Dr Chris Cowie and his team who made the decision to operate on Kara-Amber that night, providing the best possible outcome. The gratitude we have for the hospital will never leave us. I think it’s wonderful, that instead of thinking of her time in hospital as a scary experience and not talking about it, she instead embraces it and remembers how wonderful and friendly everyone was.
“She is our ray of sunshine and we are so thankful to the GNCH for giving us happiness at the end of the rainbow”
Hearing about the donation, Sister Christine Mackeness from PICU said:
“Congratulations to Kara-Amber for winning the competition with her fantastic picture of hope. She has been incredibly kind to donate her prize to PICU.
It’s wonderful to hear that she is doing so well and that the family feel we made a difference during such a difficult time.
“It always brings us great pleasure to hear from our past patients and their families about their recovery and the successes they have had since leaving us. In turn their words also bring hope to current and future patients and families.”
Page last updated: 28 May, 2020, 11:15am