A Christmas miracle unfolded on the surgical ward at Walsall Manor Hospital today, as Santa came to visit a very special patient.
Even during his busiest time of year, Santa couldn’t let the opportunity pass to say “hello” to his biggest fan as a surprise.
Adrian De Lacy, who likes to be called Adi, has learning disabilities and absolutely loves Christmas. This year, however, the 58-year-old will be spending Christmas Day in hospital following surgery.
Last month, Adi had an operation due to a perforated duodenum – part of the small intestine – and also a twisted bowel. He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) following the procedure, and after five days was able to move to the surgical ward after lots of help and support from the ICU rehabilitation team.
Christmas is his favourite time of year, so Donna Botfield, Sister in the rehab team, and Leigh Taylor, Clinical Support Worker had just the plan to make this time of year as magical as possible for him – even with Adi being away from home.
Leigh said: “I knew Adi loved Santa and I wanted to make his stay with us as comfortable as possible.
“He has a heart of gold; he touches everyone just by being him and we really wanted to do something special for him.”
Donna and Xana Marriott, Senior Sister in the rehab team visited the fundraising hub and spoke to Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager and the event was organised within two days, with help from the Well Wishers charity. They were able to arrange presents for Adi which were kind donations from those in the community.
Santa kindly responded at the drop of a hat and rounded up some Christmas helpers to support his grand entrance to the ward.
Adi’s sister, Ellie and brother-in-law, Neil, who is also his main carer, were also there to witness the event.
Neil, who has lived with Adi for the last seven years alongside wife Ellie, said: “I’m really lost for words. This has all been thought out and organised by the staff because they know Adi so well.
“Everyone we have come into contact with at the hospital has been fantastic, and Adi absolutely loves the staff who have been caring for him.”
One of Adi’s presents from Santa was a large teddy. Adi adores teddy bears and sometimes communicates how he is feeling through them. His new addition, which he named Teddy, now sits alongside his two other favourites which are on the ward with him – Bobby and Ted. Xana gave Teddy a matching hospital wristband, and Adi has been clutching on to him ever since.
Amy Bonner, Lead Physiotherapist for the rehab team, has been working hard with Adi on his mobility, and has been involved in his discharge planning. It is hoped that he will be able to go home soon after some additional physiotherapy.