A MOTHER has raised thousands of pounds for charity in memory of her late son who died aged 24.
Christopher Nelson, from Eskbank, passed away on a trip to Amsterdam last year.
He spent his first night away from home there and he was so at ease he thought he had been at a hotelDONNA NELSON
The former bar manager and NHS pharmaceutical technician, who previously worked at the Buffalo Grill in Stockbridge, failed to return from a morning walk in the Nieuwmarkt area of the city centre on November 15.
In just three months, his mum, Donna Nelson, has raised over £2500 for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF) in his memory, beginning the fundraising by collecting donations at her beloved son’s funeral. With the help of family and friends, she has since arranged a variety of fundraising events, including a Gary Barlow tribute act and bingo nights.
Donna said: “We wanted to do something in memory of our son and we felt that the Sick Kids Friends Foundation was very fitting to him.
“When Christopher was younger he was in and out of A&E at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children with different sporting injuries, and in some cases he was bedridden, but he was such an active child he found it difficult to stay in bed.
“The SKFF supplied him with a games console which they brought to him so he could play it without having to get up. It made the world of difference not only to him but to us. He spent his first night away from home there and he was so at ease he even thought he had been staying at a hotel which made us laugh.
“It was reassuring for us as parents to know he felt safe and happy even though he was in pain so we have always been so grateful for the work of SKFF and we are glad that we have been able to give back to them now.”
The money raised is being used to fund portable DVD players for children in A&E to keep them entertained during their stay in hospital.
Donna said: “When we were informed that SKFF wanted to use the money raised to buy portable DVD players we were delighted, it could not be more suitable.
“We wanted the money to be used for kids who struggle to get out of bed, as this was the situation Christopher was in many years ago, so we couldn’t be happier.”
The SKFF aims to transform the experiences of young people in hospital. There are also plans to use some of the money donated to fund technology which will allow children to stay in contact with friends and family during their stay.
Sue Diamond, community fundraising manager at SKFF, said: “We are so grateful and honoured to be chosen as Christopher’s charity.
“The money raised so far has had such an impact on the lives of young patients and their families and as more is raised it will continue to make a phenomenal difference.
“We think it is such an admirable and amazing thing that Donna is doing and we really want to thank her and the whole family for their great support.”
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation supports the work of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children as well as other children’s healthcare settings across the southeast of Scotland.