Gabriela was born with complex heart defect and spent the best part of the first six months of her life on Bramble Ward, which sadly included her first Christmas.
Cherilyn, Gabriela’s mum, said: “It was sad not to be at home opening presents and doing all the things you would usually do, but the ward made it as happy as they possibly could – we even had a visit from Santa and the Exeter Chiefs!”
As well as an extended amount of time on the ward, the family have also attended a lot of outpatient appointments at the RD&E. “The toys, books and videos makes a stressful time a lot calmer. The decorations in the rooms are also so important to help take the children’s mind off having procedures like an echo.”
“Gabriela is now 13 years old. We will always be grateful for the care, empathy and compassion that we were shown by staff during our lengthy stays on the ward.”