Children undergoing treatment at North Devon District Hospital are set to benefit from the generosity of a local family.
Guesthouse owner Eileen Luxton decided she didn’t want presents for her 50th birthday in July, but wanted to help others instead.
So she asked her relatives and friends to donate money for Caroline Thorpe Ward, where three of her own grandchildren have been cared for.
Now Mrs Luxton and her husband Michael, who run Wyvern House at Bude, have handed over the resulting £560.
The cash will be used to buy a giant game and a temporal thermometer, which allows staff to take a child’s temperature simply by running a probe around their face.
The connection with the children’s ward began when Eileen’s granddaughter, Keely Mills, needed treatment as a baby. Now she is nine, but her little sister Hannah, aged 21 months, and cousin Liam, aged nine months, have also needed spells on the ward.
Keely and Hannah live with mum and dad Mandy and Stuart at Bideford. Liam’s parents, Lisa and Roger, live at Bude.
Eileen said: “My 50th birthday was on 15 July, but I didn’t want any presents. I thought instead that they’d done so much for us on the ward that it would be good to get something for the children there – much better than me having a load of things that I wouldn’t know what to do with.
“Little Hannah was so poorly on and off and we did wonder a couple of times if she was going to pull through, but we feel that she’s turned the corner now. I’m sure everyone we know will be glad that the money has gone to such a good cause.”
Fran Greenaway, Play Leader on Caroline Thorpe Ward, said she was thrilled with the gift: “The thermometers are really good for children, because they’re so quick. A quick scan and you’ve got their temperature.
“And the children love these giant games, like chess and four-in-a-row. You can move them around wherever they’re needed, even into a bay where the whole family can play during a visit.”