Lottie Boxes bringing hope to families spending Christmas in hospital
In our latest blog Leila shares the story behind the amazing gift boxes she collects for, lovingly creates and then delivers to families spending their Christmas in hospital. In 2012 my perfectly healthy youngest daughter, Charlotte suffered a sudden and devastating brain haemorrhage which then caused multiple strokes leaving her partially sighted & with severe learning difficulties aged just seven years old. We spent eight weeks in Leeds General Infirmary feeling alone, terrified, frustrated amongst other things. The kind messages (and even gifts of tea bags and bubble bath!) and thoughts from people back home made such a huge difference to us Once Charlotte was home I started Lottie Box, an annual event where I ask for donations of toys, books, crayons, toiletries etc. which I then package up in boxes Charlotte has customised by painting them sparkly pink (her favourite). Once they're pink & sparkly and full of love from everyone who donates and us we can call them Lottie Boxes. I then use any donated money to purchase items to include in our Lottie Boxes, take them to Leeds General and hand out to families going through this trauma over Christmas. Watching my child in hospital fighting for her life was the worst experience I've ever been through but to think of going through that as well as trying to somehow manage Christmas for my other daughter too is just unimaginable. I know first-hand how much it means to know you are being thought about and supported by people out there in that world you'd love to get back to. To give you all some extra Christmas spirit, here's a video of THE Lottie, learning her Christmas songs for her theatre group's coffee morning. Not long ago, Charlotte's strokes and resulting brain injury left her unable to read, unable to make new memories and with a hugely decreased sense of self confidence. She has worked so hard to learn this and as you'll know if you've read her amazing story, music does something incredibly special to her brain. You can read Lottie’s Story here.