Legacy donations continue to support Sheffield Children's

This week marks Remember A Charity in your Will week, providing an opportunity to pass on something wonderful and leave a life-changing gift to a cause close your heart.

Leaving a gift to The Children’s Hospital Charity supports research into the prevention and cure of childhood illnesses, provides new facilities and improvements to the environment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and changes children’s lives for generations to come.

Inspired by the care their relatives received, 107-year-old David ‘Stanley’ Brackenbrough and 95-year-old Hilda Lang have left legacies which continue to help young patients today.

Mr Brackenbrough left his entire estate to The Children’s Hospital Charity when he died at the age of 107 in 2017. He was moved by the care his great niece seven-year-old Isabelle Smith received at Sheffield Children’s after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012.

Recalling the diagnosis, Isabelle’s mum Loran explained: “I noticed the usage of her right hand and leg wasn’t natural when playing in the bath. She wouldn’t ungrasp her hand to hold items, so I took her to our GP who referred us to a neurologist at Sheffield Children’s.”

Scans revealed the tumour was a low-grade glioma, a non-cancerous growth which are the slowest growing type. However, its position deep within the brain means it is currently inoperable and Isabelle undergoes scans every 12 months to monitor its progress.

Loran continues: “Stanley always had great affection for Sheffield Children’s and he loved Isabelle so much. Every time she visited him, she would tell him she wanted to be a doctor and he always encouraged her.”

“He saw that they looked after her so well, so it became very important for him to help in any way that he could. The care we receive is incredible, they can’t do enough for us. We are so lucky to have such an amazing hospital on our doorstep.”

The legacy donation allowed The Children’s Hospital Charity to fund a state-of-the-art SPECT CT scanner. The equipment means radiologists can scan children with suspected cancerous tumours, epilepsy, painful injuries or neuro-disabilities with just one highly advanced diagnostic device.

Multiple scans conducted at the same time ensures there is less discomfort for patients, while enhanced images also provide more certainty when diagnosing patients, allowing clinicians to offer more tailored treatment.

Loran adds: “It’s absolutely amazing to think it could help children like Isabelle in the future and maybe Isabelle herself when she comes in. You always want to ensure that your children receive the best care possible and to know he will help other families too is really very special.”

Gifts in your Will to The Children’s Hospital Charity also support ground-breaking research.

95-year-old Hilda Lang was based in Buckinghamshire for most of her life and left a gift of £66,000 to advance research into conditions which cause children and young people severe sleep problems at Sheffield Children’s.

Hilda lived a life of service to her country, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service and the Royal Signals Southern Command during the Second World War. She finished her career working at the Joint Services Staff College, where officers of the UK, Commonwealth and USA were jointly trained.

Hilda’s great nephew, 16-year-old Sam Forbes is under the care of Sheffield Children’s, having developed narcolepsy and catalepsy when he was four years old.

Sam’s mum Di Forbes explains: “When you’ve got a condition that’s lifelong, it’s important you’re looked after and taught how to manage it in the right way. That’s what the Sleep Team at Sheffield Children’s Hospital give us, they make the best of Sam’s condition and it makes a difference every day.”

“We’re acutely aware of the care they provide, as a family we know they go above and beyond as a matter of course. It has been absolutely phenomenal. We cannot praise them enough, they have made a massive difference to my son and my family.”

“To hand over the cheque made us feel so proud. When you do something to help someone, it is such a heart-warming feeling. We know that the team will make the best possible use of the money to help other people like us.”

It will be regularly replenished with grant income, to ensure the work started by Hilda’s generosity continues for generations.

To find out how you can leave a gift in your Will to Sheffield Children's Hospital, click here.