Monday, 20 May 2024
Monday, 20 May 2024

Ollie’s Journey: Triumph, Turbulence, and Gratitude at Sheffield Children’s Hospital

WHEN 13-year-old Ollie from Worksop was two days old he was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for emergency surgery.

Upon arrival, he was taken immediately to surgery to remove part of his bowel. At the time they didn’t know exactly what was wrong but believed his bowel to be perforated.

Mum, Laura, remembers:

“We were taken into a room and told there was a chance he wouldn’t make it through the night. It was all such a shock, but I sat with him all night and a lovely nurse kept me company.”

Around five days after his surgery, the family was told Ollie had the condition Hirschsprung’s disease. The disease affects 1 in every 5000 people and occurs when nerves don’t grow in certain parts of the bowel.

Ollie was discharged after three weeks and went home with his parents to meet his four older siblings.

In the following year, he had two follow-up surgeries to repair his bowel. For the next few years, Ollie continued to be unwell and eventually, when he was three years old, his surgeon and parents decided the best option was a colostomy.

Ollie now has a stoma and mum Laura can’t believe how much better it has made him.

She said:

“He still has bad days, but I could never have dreamed when he was little that his life could be as good as it is.”

Ollie continues to receive care at Sheffield Children’s and has also had his tonsils out and been cared for by the dentistry team at the hospital.

The family is so grateful for Ollie’s care that they have taken on many fundraising challenges over the years. Ollie and his sister have held cake sales, Ollie completed a virtual 5K with his dad during the pandemic, and he even took part in #5forTheo alongside one of his footballing favourites, Barry Bannan, in the summer of 2023.

Last month Ollie and members of his football team, Worksop Town JFC Under 14’s Tigers took on the Firehouse Fitness Mud Run in support of Sheffield Children’s. Four of his friends and their dads laced up their running shoes to complete the race to support the Charity.

Laura said of the family’s fundraising:

“You can see as you visit the hospital the difference that fundraising has made. We have been coming for years and the transformation is incredible. We always say if you have to be in hospital Sheffield Children’s is a nice place to be. The staff are brilliant, they care beyond caring. If it weren’t for Sheffield Children’s, he literally wouldn’t be here. We owe everything to them, so we try to give something back whenever we can.”

On 28th April Ollie’s Dad Gavin is continuing the family’s support for the charity by taking part in Theo Cup.

Theo Cup is the Charity’s annual five-aside football tournament, where teams come together for friendly competition and fundraising. Ollie is planning on heading down to cheer on his dad and enjoy the following barbeque.

The family’s support has been unwavering, with Laura and dad, Gavin, even giving Ollie the middle name Theo after the charity’s mascot, Theo the Bear.

Laura said:

“My dad passed away a few years ago and he asked us to donate the money raised at his wake to the charity. Being from near Sheffield everyone you know has been helped by the hospital and we couldn’t be more grateful as a family for everything they’ve done for us.”

To sign up for your own Theo Cup team, please email: nswift@tchc.org.uk.

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