GOSH patient given VIP treatment on London Underground visit

21 Dec 2023, 4 p.m.

Six-year-old Henry, who spent two Christmases at GOSH, visits London Underground station for the first time to see himself featured in GOSH Charity Christmas Appeal ads.

Six-year-old Henry, who has been under the care of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) all his life, was yesterday (Sunday 17 December) treated to a VIP experience on his first ever visit to a London Underground station.

Henry, the star of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s (GOSH Charity) Christmas Appeal, travelled with his parents from their home in Yorkshire to London’s King’s Cross St Pancras to see his face on Tube adverts for the charity. Eagerly awaiting his arrival, station staff – who are celebrating the Tube network’s 160th year - presented Henry with his very own Transport for London (TfL) uniform and took him to see a London Underground train for the first time.

Having defied all expectations after being diagnosed with rare and life-threatening respiratory and heart conditions at birth, Henry was excited to see himself as one of the faces of GOSH Charity’s Christmas Appeal, and – with his favourite Christmas film being the Polar Express - was delighted with his new outfit and Tube station experience.

A family day out is something his parents once feared would not be possible. Henry was born with a 1.5mm-wide windpipe and a left pulmonary artery which wrapped around his windpipe, and spent his two first Christmases at GOSH. Following numerous life-saving surgeries and procedures, his mum Shevonne remembers spending Henry’s first Christmas in the hospital “in dire straits about whether Henry would live or die”.

Now, Henry, who requires permanent ventilation and is always accompanied by two trained adults, is thriving at a mainstream school, recently started swimming lessons and even went on his first ever school trip without his parents.

Henry’s incredible spirit and determination have not gone unrecognised. As well as starring in GOSH Charity’s Christmas Appeal campaign – including in the charity’s Christmas film - he won a Wellchild award last year and is described by Shevonne as a “local celebrity” in his hometown of Bridlington.

Shevonne hopes Henry’s story will inspire others to give to GOSH Charity’s Christmas Appeal so that more children like him can spend Christmas at home with their families.

“Henry absolutely loved his experience of being in a London Underground station. It was also so special for all of us to see his face on adverts for the GOSH Charity Christmas Appeal. It’s a reminder of how far he’s come and we are so grateful to his team at GOSH for helping us get to this stage.

“With the support of family and friends we have raised more than £40,000 for GOSH Charity, and encourage anyone who can to donate to GOSH this Christmas so that more seriously ill children can receive the care they need. We can’t wait to spend another Christmas at home with our special little boy. We call him Heroic Henry. He is a superstar.”

GOSH Charity’s Director of Fundraising, Liz Tait, said: “Henry’s story has captured the hearts of us all at GOSH Charity, and it’s wonderful to see him doing so well and looking forward to another Christmas at home with his family. By donating to GOSH Charity’s Christmas Appeal, supporters can help raise vital funds to help get children like Henry home for Christmas, and bring festive magic to the hospital for those whose treatment needs to continue at GOSH over the Christmas period.”

Emma Strain, Customer Director at TfL, said: “We were absolutely delighted to invite Henry to King’s Cross Tube station and show him the advertisement he features in from the GOSH Charity Christmas Appeal. Henry’s bravery is an inspiration for all of us and we are so glad that he enjoyed his day and pleased that we could play a small part in making Henry’s Christmas wish come true.”

Donate to GOSH Charity’s Christmas Appeal so that more children like Henry can spend Christmas at home with their families: gosh.org/christmas


Contact Information

For more information, please contact: ellen.leach-hutchings@gosh.org / 02038413147

Notes to Editors

Notes to editors

About Great Ormond Street Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity:

Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children’s healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. The hospital’s pioneering research and treatment gives hope to children from across the UK with the rarest, most complex and often life-threatening conditions. Our patients and families are central to everything we do – from the moment they come through the door and for as long as they need us.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity needs to raise money to support the hospital to give seriously ill children, the best chance for life. The charity funds research into pioneering new treatments for children, provides the most up to date medical equipment, funds support services for children and their families and supports the essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital. You can help us to provide world class care for our patients and families. For more information visit www.gosh.org