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Home for Christmas

22 December 2023

8 year-old Kush and 90 year-old Patricia are just two of the patients colleagues at Leicester's Hospitals have helped get home in time for Christmas.

Patricia Harris, 90, Groby

Patricia Harris is looking forward to a proper family Christmas, thanks to the efforts of her family and NHS staff to get a care package in place for her as she awaited discharge from Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Patricia, 90, was admitted to the hospital with problems swallowing and is heading home to the village of Groby, where she will be able to celebrate Christmas with her four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She said she had been looked after well, but was keen to get home: “Thank goodness I’m able to go home! They have been lovely to me here, but It’s wonderful that I can get back.

“I live at home, but one of my daughters lives in the same village and the other lives nearby as well. They’ll come over to celebrate Christmas. ”

Her daughter, Susan, said everything was in place to look after her mum when she arrives home: “We’ve already got all the equipment from before, and there will be some carers supporting her and I’ll be there to meet her when she gets home.”

Patricia has spent around four weeks on Ward 23 at the LRI, and Medical Director Andrew Furlong said it showed the importance of families working with the NHS to ensure patients can return home as soon as they’re able.

“We do have patients in our care who may not need to be looked after in hospital, but we need to ensure they have the right support before we can discharge them. Having families and friends involved in that process is so important for the patient’s health and wellbeing.

“We focus on the best option for each patient, and it’s great that Patricia is able to get home for Christmas thanks to the work of our colleagues here at UHL, the efforts of her family and the support of care services.

“I hope Patricia has a wonderful Christmas at home, and would like to thank all those families helping to get their loved ones home for Christmas.”


Kush, 8, Belgrave

A chest infection may have put eight-year-old Kush Visnu in hospital for four days, but it hasn’t stopped him enjoying his Lego and won’t stop him going home for Christmas.

Kush, who has asthma, started coughing and was having trouble breathing after a trip to an ice rink, so after calling 111 his family visited Leicester Royal Infirmary’s Children’s Emergency Department.

Clinicians were concerned by his low oxygen levels, so admitted him for care and observation.

Four days later, he’s keen to get home: “I was crying a bit because I wanted to go home, but it’s really good that I’m going home for Christmas.

“The best bit about being here is that I got to play with Lego, but I missed going to school. The first thing I’m going to do when I get home is eat crisps.”

Kush was kept busy while in hospital by one of the Trust’s play facilitators, who brought Lego and played games with him to keep him active.

His mum, Twinkal, said she was looking forward to having him home for Christmas: “The play facilitator really helped by spending time with him, and everyone has been great. We called 111 and then went to the Emergency Department. It was fast through ED because they saw he was so sick and his oxygen was low.

The family have a big Christmas planned at their Belgrave home, with a tree… “and a Santa balloon!” Kush adds.

UHL Medical Director Andrew Furlong said it was great that patients like Kush can get home for Christmas, thanks to the support of their families: “Clearly Kush has great support from his family, who knew the danger signs of his breathing problems and brought him to our Emergency Department.

“It’s great that he will be home for Christmas, surrounded by family and able to enjoy the festive season.”