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Nurse hosts party to show young patients they are ‘not alone’

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A specialist nurse has held a Christmas spectacular to help young patients with epilepsy “make friends and realise they aren’t on their own”.

The annual event is designed to give children with the condition an important opportunity to share experiences and meet other people living with epilepsy.

“Living with epilepsy can be a very challenging an isolating long-term condition”

Kirsten McHale

Kirsten McHale, clinical nurse specialist for paediatric epilepsy and neurodisability at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), hosted the event at the Charis Centre in Crawley.

Dressed in festive costumes, the nurse and her helpers entertained over 50 local families, as part of the Christmas extravaganza last Monday.

The day saw support from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) who volunteered by delivering Santa and his elves in an ambulance, complete with blue lights.

The day included a variety of activities suitable for children of all ages including a magician, bouncy castle, a soft play area, an arts and crafts area, a raffle and a disco.

Ms McHale said: “It is so lovely to see families coming together year on year. These events are such a vital support to the children and young people who attend, as it gives them an opportunity to share experiences and meet other people living with epilepsy.

“Living with epilepsy can be a very challenging an isolating long-term condition, so it is important to build a support network,” she said.

“These parties are ideal for the children to make friends and realise they are not on their own,” said Ms McHale.

She added: “The party would not be the success it is without the generosity of the SASH paediatric nursing team, the Charis Centre in Crawley and the help of local volunteers including staff from SECAmb, who helped to organise the event and make it a success.”

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Kirsten McHale

Santa Claus and nurse Kirsten McHale dressed as snow white

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Kirsten McHale

Father Christmas visits children with epilepsy at the Charis Centre in Crawley

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