Party at the Charis Centre brings Christmas cheer to young patients

Kirsten McHale (centre) with her colleagues at the Charis Centre SUS-171213-162354001
Kirsten McHale (centre) with her colleagues at the Charis Centre SUS-171213-162354001

A paediatric specialist proved she was game for a laugh when she organised a Christmas party for young patients at the Charis Centre in Crawley.

Kirsten McHale, clinical nurse specialist for paediatric epilepsy and neurodisability at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), put on a very fetching gnome costume at Christmas spectacular at y for SASH patients who live with epilepsy.

Kirsten from Turners Hill and all the other Christmas helpers dressed up in festive costumes and arranged activities to suit children of all ages including; a bouncy castle, a soft play area, an arts and crafts area and a disco.

Father Christmas even came along, he left his reindeer in the stable (to rest before Christmas eve) and surprised the children when he arrived in an ambulance.

Kirsten said: “I organise regular events for the young patients I support and their families to bring them all together. They can share experiences and meet other people living with epilepsy and their families. Living with epilepsy can be very challenging. The medicine for epilepsy can leave you feeling flat and patients living with epilepsy often feel isolated.

“These parties are an opportunity for the children to make friends and realise they are not on their own.

“Families of children with epilepsy can also talk to each other and build a support network between them.

“I am overwhelmed by the community spirit in helping to support me to organise this event.

“The party was made possible by the generosity of SASH staff and so many people and organisations including; the Charis Centre in Crawley, Dominos pizza, South East Coast Ambulance Service and everyone who generously donated food and time to make it happen.”

If you would like to know more about epilepsy visit NHS choices or go to Young epilepsy, or Epilepsy Action,