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Slough youngster puts health battles aside to organise Christmas gift appeal

A thoughtful youngster from Slough has put his own health battles aside to focus on collecting presents for sick children in time for Christmas.

Alfie Whittingham, 11, launched his Christmas Wish campaign in 2016 while he was receiving treatment for a long-term heart condition.

He wanted to make sure all youngsters going through similar experiences over the festive season had gifts to make them feel better.

The gift appeal has since snowballed with 1001 presents being donated last year.

Louise Nelson, Alfie’s mum, said: “Christmas has to be the worst time of year to be in hospital and if you are given a gift that you are totally not expecting that can make a difference.”

The St Ethelbert’s Catholic School pupil contracted meningococcal septicaemia, blood poisoning, at just 10-weeks-old and now suffers from a serious heart condition known as supraventricular tachycardia and atrial ectopic tachycardia.

Six weeks ago, while receiving treatment at Wexham Park Hospital’s high-dependency unit, Alfie asked his mum if they could do the campaign again this year.

Louise added: “I’m so proud of him.

“This is the fourth year of us doing the campaign but he still doesn’t understand that not everyone does stuff like this.”

An Amazon Wish List has been set up where people can buy presents directly for the appeal online.

Alfie and his family are planning to deliver the gifts to Wexham Park Hospital, Hillingdon Hospital and Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital in time for Christmas Day.

“I won’t be massively disappointed if we don’t beat last year’s number of presents but I’d love to smash the target for Alfie.”

Visit https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3HDI1V8F04LHK?ref_=wl_share to donate.

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