Andrea Blackett’s son, Michael Blackett, was treated for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at the £2.4m 12-bed in-patient ward at the Northern General Hospital when it opened 2011, which the charity contributed £1m towards.

Unfortunately Michael passed away in 2013, but Andrea is so passionate about the work of Sheffield Hospitals Charity, that she now gives her time for free regularly.

Sheffield Hospitals Charity became our friends...

Andrea said: “Michael was diagnosed with CF when he was eighteen months old. He had repeated chest infections, a nasty cough and was very underweight. He was also failing to thrive.

“When the CF unit was opened Michael was one of the first patients to stay, as by that time his health had deteriorated. The ward benefitted him so much; he had all the facilities he needed, including large TV’s fridges, WIFI, ensuite toilet and showers. It was a real home-from-home.

“Michael spent the last 11 months of his life in the unit awaiting a lung transplant before he sadly passed away on in October 2013, aged 26. The support the whole family got from the staff on the unit was second to none during his last few months and after his passing.

“After Michael left us we decided that the best way to thank them would be to carry on fundraising so that other patients and families would be able to benefit from the wonderful place, as we did.

“We also decided that we would like to stay connected with Sheffield Hospitals Charity as they had also supported us with all our fundraising events and were very kind to us. They became our friends.

I work in the charity office regularly and I absolutely love it....

“I had got to know several of the charity staff over the years and always felt that they were interested in what we were doing - even the small events - and were very encouraging when things didn’t go as well as expected.

“So when the charity asked for volunteers to help in the office I jumped at the chance to be part of the team. I am a qualified business manager and have worked in admin roles all my working life, so I thought it was another way I could give back to them as a thank you for all the help they have given me.

“I work in the charity office regularly and I absolutely love it. The whole team have made me so welcome and treat me just like another worker which is great. I am eager to help and really don’t mind what I do, I just like to know that I am saving them time.

“The atmosphere in the office is light hearted but professional it is good to see how hard the team work - I’m sure the general public don’t realise how much work goes on behind the scenes.

“I am so thankful that they have accepted me and that by just helping one day a week I am contributing to the charity’s work and I am sure that Michael will be proud of me too.

“I will always be part of the charity as I feel that me and my family are indebted to them for helping create the place my boy called home, that is as long as they will have me.”

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