Camberwell family donate £10,000 of gifts to King’s College Hospital to thank staff for saving great-grandmother and great-grandson’s lives

Katherine Johnston (22 April, 2021)

'Their kindness and thoughtfulness, in the middle of a global pandemic, is something I will never forget'

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A family from Camberwell has given £10,000 of thank you gifts to King’s College Hospital after a great-grandmother and her great-grandson’s lives were saved during the pandemic.

Georgie Theobald, from Camberwell, spent Christmas 2020 at King’s in Denmark Hill when her thirteen-year-old son Freddie and 66-year-old grandmother were admitted while seriously ill with COVID-19.

Within hours both were placed on ventilators in separate intensive care units but, remarkably, they both pulled through. 

She says she will never forget the kindness of the hospital’s staff during that heartbreaking Christmas.

She remembers how her grandmother began to deteriorate: “I was really worried about my Nan, as she has diabetes and was just getting worse and worse.

“After I called an ambulance, and when the paramedics were checking her over, they noticed Freddie also seemed poorly. 

“He has problems with his immune system, as well as asthma, and as we discovered later in hospital, he had COVID-19 too. 

“Within a few hours, they were both on ventilators in different intensive care units. 

“It was one of the worst days of my life. I spent Christmas Day with my son, praying he and my Nan would be OK.

“The staff were absolutely amazing. It was such a busy time and everyone was working really long shifts with barely any time for a break. 

“In spite of it all, one nurse popped in to see me on Christmas Day with a card and a little present. 

“Their kindness and thoughtfulness, in the middle of a global pandemic, is something I will never forget.

“Amazingly, Nan and Freddie both recovered and are back at home. After saving their lives, as well as looking after me, I knew I had to do something to say thank you.”

Together with her family and friends, Georgie has donated over £10,000 worth of gifts and refreshments, including bottles of water, snacks, muesli bars and bubble bath, to staff at King’s including cleaners, security staff and healthcare assistants.

“I get so much pleasure from putting a smile on the faces of people who really, truly deserve it,” she said. 

“I can never thank them enough for the care and support they’ve given my family, but I can give them a treat to make their time off a little bit more enjoyable. I’m not doing anything special – I just want to give something back.”

Jane Wilson, paediatric emergency department matron at King’s College Hospital, thanked the family and their friends for their huge generosity.

“There’s no doubt that this has been one of the most challenging years we’ve ever faced, but knowing the difference we’ve made to people’s lives gives everyone a lift,” she said.

“The donations have been enjoyed by everyone who works together to improve patient care including our porters, housekeepers, receptionists, nurses, healthcare associates, and doctors.”

Dr Simon Broughton, paediatric consultant and clinical director, added: “The level of Georgie’s generosity and thoughtfulness has blown us away. 

“She has demonstrated the same care that she delivers to her family every day. 

“The way Georgie cares for Freddie never fails to amaze me. 

“Thank you so much Georgie for all that you have done for us, we are so grateful.”

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