Lottie boxes

In our latest blog Leila explains the idea behind her ‘Lottie Box’ project which is helping bring smiles to families who will be spending Christmas in hospital.

Giving out Lottie boxes
“Some of you will know me and know our story, but for those who don’t, let me introduce myself. I’m Leila, and one night in April 2012, my then 7 year old daughter, Charlotte went to bed a happy, healthy little girl who was flourishing at school and turning into an independent and capable young lady. Early the next morning, all of that changed as Charlotte suffered a severe brain haemorrhage caused by a massive aneurism located on an artery at the back of her brain which we knew nothing about. Charlotte was only minutes away from death but thanks to the quick actions and expertise of medical staff, she was kept alive long enough to be transferred from our local hospital to a more specialised hospital in Leeds. After 4 days of surgeries, being in a coma and looking as though a full recovery was being made, Charlotte unfortunately suffered a series of strokes, leaving her with large areas of brain damaged.  Categorised as an acquired brain injury it left Charlotte with sight loss and mobility issues including pain, fatigue, and lack of muscle. You can read more of Leila and Charlotte’s story in here. 
Lottie and Leila
I know a lot of you will relate to how those days and weeks of uncertainty, pain, helplessness, hope, determination, tears and laughter felt and I also know that there will be those who weren’t as lucky as us. Last year, around October time, my best friend and I were starting to look forward to Christmas and our minds were taken to how far we had all come since those dark days. We then were immediately in awe of anybody going through this over Christmas time! As a single Mum and with another child to need organising too, I found dealing with our situation incredibly stressful and guilt ridden and so to then put Christmas in the mix is just unfathomable to me. All of this then merged together in our minds and Lottie Box was born. A Lottie Box is a shoe box type box which can be filled with toys, books, crayons, colouring books, bubbles, chocolate & sweets, finger puppets, DVDs, CDs, audiobook CDs etc…  anything which will fit in the box and make somebody smile.
Giving out Lottie boxes
We’ve seen Lottie Boxes make everybody smile from babies’ right up to teenage children, from Mums and Dads sat by the bed day and night to siblings who are away at school and are maybe feeling alone in the situation.   Lottie Boxes act as a conversation starter between parents sat by adjacent beds on a ward and feeling alone. So you see, a Lottie Box isn’t just filled with toys or books, they’re filled with love and support and strength and solidarity and to a family like ours, on some days, that’s the only thing which will get you through.”
Message from Lottie
You can find out more about the ‘Lottie Box’ project on their Facebook page here
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