Bryony and Hayley’s London Santa Dash

Bryony has an extremely rare genetic condition and has been a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) since she was born. Here, she and her mum, Hayley, tell us a bit about Bryony's GOSH experience so far – as well as their London Santa Dash adventure last Christmas. 

GOSH – then and now 

“Bryony has been a patient at GOSH since she was born. I have lost count of the amount of treatments, surgeries and appointments she has had!” says Hayley.

“She had spinal fusion in 2017 and revision surgery in 2018. Most recently, she had foot surgery in March this year, which has enabled her to walk again after a year of being confined to a wheelchair.

“Over the years, we have seen many changes at GOSH. Her first major operation was back in 2006 and she was on Clarence Ward – which no longer exists!

“When she was little, we spent hours in the ward playrooms. Then, as she got older, she was happy to watch DVDs or play on the Wii. Now, as a teenager, she is happily occupied by her phone so that she can keep in touch with her friends back home through social media.

“When Bryony was about seven years old, I remember dreading telling her that she was going to be spending half-term in hospital having treatment. I was worried that she would be angry at missing the school holidays, but her reaction was: ‘Yay, I love GOSH!’ I was not expecting that!

Earlier this year, Bryony became a member of the Young People’s Forum (YPF) – a forum representing patients aged 10 to 21 in GOSH.

The hospital at Christmas

“The hospital has a lovely festive atmosphere during the Christmas period,” says Bryony. “We always write a stocking card and love to see each one being displayed all over the hospital.

“One of the highlights of our run up to Christmas is the GOSH Charity Christmas Party. We try to go every year - we love it!”

London Santa Dash

Last year, Hayley and Bryony took part in our annual festive fun run – London Santa Dash. 

“I loved it!," says Hayley. "It was humbling to see so many people taking part in the event, knowing they were all raising money for GOSH. It was quite a sight and made me quite emotional."

“It was very cold!” Bryony adds. “I think I was the only person taking part in a wheelchair. It was a bumpy ride as it was quite muddy and boggy in places, but it was great fun. The best bit was the mince pie at the end! 

“The atmosphere was great, with lots going on before and after the actual run. The warm-up was great fun – it was funny seeing so many Santas all doing the floss!"

“We would definitely recommend London Santa Dash to other people!” says Hayley. “Knowing we were raising valuable funds for a hospital that holds such a special place in our hearts made it even more memorable.”

Are you interested in signing up for London Santa Dash 2019? Join the dash today

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