Parents present patient comforts to hospital ward

When Leukaemia victim Robert Foot stayed in a west Norfolk hospital eight years ago there wasn’t anything in his room to keep him entertained.

For his parents Michael and Wendy Foot, of Walpole St Peter, near King’s Lynn, it was heartbreaking to watch their son grow frustrated at having a lot of spare time and nothing to do.

So after their son’s death in 2002, the couple set up the Robert Foot Leukaemia Fund and decided to raise money to help the patients staying in a ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

The couple visited the Shouldham ward yesterday to hand over a Wii console and games, aromatic oils, DVDs, portable DVD players and board games for patients to enjoy.

Michael, 66, said: “Robert spent a lot of time in the ward and didn’t have a lot in the way of patient comforts so after he died, we decided we wanted to help those in a similar position.

“The patient comforts we have purchased for the ward are worth just over �3,000 and I hope what we have done will have a big impact and make the patient’s lives a little bit easier.

“We are also buying things the NHS wouldn’t normally buy like a comfortable chair which visitors can use to stay over night to be close to their loved ones.”

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Mr Foot added his son, who worked as a political advisor for the Ministry of Defence, was awarded an OBE just before he died for his work in Sierra Leone during the country’s civil war.

The couple’s focus on raising money to assist funding for projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for adult leukaemic patients has also helped them cope with their loss.

Mrs Foot said: “I think Rob would be delighted that his influence for good has continued. It gives us a great deal of satisfaction and helps us come to terms with what happened to Rob.

“Rob spent a lot of time in hospital with time to kill. When he was in here there wasn’t even a TV in his room so we decided we needed to help those who are battling Leukaemia and try to make their hospital experience as pleasant as it can be.”

She added: “We are just grateful for the people who support us because we wouldn’t be able to do this on our own.” The fund has raised just over �100,000 in eight years and the money has been split between the west Norfolk hospital, Guys Hospital in London and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.