Ollie’s family donate bell to celebrate end of treatment

Ollie's family donate bell to celebrate end of treatment
The Ridley family ring the bell at Woodlands Unit, Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Ollie Ridley from Biggin Hill, his parents Sian and Steve and four-year-old brother Joseph have sponsored a bell at Tunbridge Wells Hospital’s Woodlands Unit, for children to ring at the end of their treatment.

Ollie suggested the hospital should have one like the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, where he also received treatment.

He said: “I’m so happy the bell is now on Woodlands Unit. I really hope it helps other children look forward to their treatment finishing.”

Ollie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2016. Sian said: “His treatment lasted for three years and three months, and we spent many nights under the care of the wonderful staff on Woodlands and Hedgehog wards.

“When Ollie’s last dose of IV chemotherapy was given on Woodlands in April 2019, the nurses kindly celebrated by ringing hand bells on the ward for him.

“But he still had daily chemotherapy at home, which meant he had to wait to ring the end-of-treatment bell at the Royal Marsden.

“He finally got to ring the bell on July 11, 2019, but he told my husband and me that it would have been nice if he could have rung the bell at the Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

“That was where he had his last hospital chemotherapy given, and all his nurses who looked after him every time he was poorly were there, and now his dream has come true.”

Paediatric Ward Manager Michelle Wickens said: “We are extremely grateful to the Ridley family for the donation of the end-of-treatment bell.

“It is really important to mark the end of treatment as an important part of their lives.

“For children who receive cancer chemotherapy or other long-term treatments, and their families who have conquered many obstacles through diagnosis and treatment, ringing the bell is a symbol of their journey and the start of the next part of their lives.”

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