Kind-hearted schoolgirl Daisy Stewart-Cooney has used her experience as a young patient recovering from meningitis to help other poorly children at Walsall Manor Hospital.
The 11-year-old has bought toys and games for Ward 21 Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) where she was treated four years ago as she remembers some toys being broken or having missing parts when she was staying there.
Daisy was taken ill in January 2015 – she had stomach ache but didn’t want to miss a day off school.
Mum Shirley explained: “My husband Richard had a rare day off and was at home while I was on the school run and when we got to school Daisy said she didn’t want to go because she felt unwell. She has never not wanted to go to school so this was unusual.
“I dropped Daisy home and rang to check on her through the day. Richard said she’d stayed in her room and just wasn’t herself at all. When I got home and drew the curtains back she screamed at the light and I contacted NHS 111 where the call taker asked me to keep switching lights on and off to test her reaction which I now know can be an indication of potential meningitis symptoms.
“Daisy didn’t have a rash but her temperature was high and she went to the urgent care centre at Cannock before being sent to Walsall Manor Hospital. I was carrying her as it was nearly midnight and she was being sick. She went on to the PAU and was treated for both viral and bacterial meningitis as the doctors weren’t sure which type she had at that stage and wanted to act quickly.”
Daisy, who has a brother George, eight, was in hospital over a week and her mum stayed with her; popping off to a local toy shop when Daisy was asleep to buy toys and games to take her mind off her illness.
She said: “I remember waking up and although I knew where mum had gone it felt lonely and I thought about other children in hospital. Some of them might not have anyone staying with them, or their parents might not be able to afford to buy things to cheer them up.
“Some of the toys and games when I was in had bits missing or were broken and I have bought new things to give to other children. I hope this helps to cheer them up,” added the Wolves fan who also enjoys running and playing in her school football team, Cheslyn Hay Academy.
She raised the money to buy the toys and games by delivering phone books.