Family of ‘miracle boy’ urge people to Light up a Life this Christmas

Michelle, William and Paul Ryder at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

The family of a ‘miracle boy’ who suffered a devastating stroke at just five-years-old are urging people to make a Christmas donation to help local families at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

William Ryder’s family were told that it was unlikely he would ever return home from hospital after he suffered the stroke in 2017. But despite spending the next five months confined to a hospital bed, brave William fought on.

His mum and dad hoped to have William back home for Christmas that year, but it wasn’t possible because of his complex medical needs.

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice was able to give them the family Christmas that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.

Now William’s mum and dad are asking people to dedicate a snowflake to a loved one or family at the hospice as part of their Light up a Life campaign.


Mum Michelle, from Rotherham, said: “Staying there at Christmas, after everything William had been through, meant so much to us.

“It gave us chance to have a proper night’s sleep in a comfy bed. One of the nurses also worked with William in the soft play room to get him crawling for the first time since his stroke.

“He had to learn everything again and just start over. Bluebell Wood really is our saving grace.”

William, 7, is now a regular visitor to the hospice, never failing to charm staff with his cheeky grin.

“Visiting Bluebell Wood is like walking into a home of our own now,” said Michelle.

“It’s such a relaxing place, and everyone is so understanding. We don’t get the stares we get elsewhere – everybody knows William here.”

Madeleine Oldale, Head of Communications at Bluebell Wood, said: “Christmas is an incredibly special time here at Bluebell Wood and over the years we’ve helped hundreds of families like William’s make truly unforgettable memories in the often limited time they have together.

“Kindly dedicating a snowflake to a loved one or family at the hospice will help us to reach those who really need our support over the festive season.”

To dedicate a snowflake and help other families enjoy Christmas together at Bluebell Wood, go to https://www.bluebellwood.org/light-up-a-life-2019 or call 01909 517 for more information.

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