A baby who had surgery for a brain tumour when he was 12 days old has switched on the Christmas lights at the hospital where he received treatment.
Joey Sharp, who is now 11 months old, was born with a growth on his brain and required two life-saving surgeries.
He was then given six months of chemotherapy before he was given the all-clear and permitted to leave the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh, which is where he was treated.
“Our little Joey was only 12 days old when he had emergency surgery in December last year,” said his mother, Sam Sharp.
“Hours before, we were given the devastating news that he had a brain tumour.
“We were told to prepare for the worst, our world had shattered.
“I had been making Christmas lists, buying presents and organising family fun.”
Sam continued: “Suddenly, it all seemed hopeless.
“After eight agonising hours, 50 per cent of the tumour was removed.
“But Joey was still seriously ill and needed a second operation.
“The days passed in a blur as we sat by his side in Intensive Care.”
Joey with sister Carly, three.
(?Edinburgh Childrens Hospital C SWNS)
Joey was then given another brain surgery just before Christmas.
“This time, they removed 98 per cent of the tumour, but we still had a way to go,” she added.
“With six long months of intensive chemotherapy ahead, we were determined to make the most of every moment.”
Joey was then given sensory classes and activity sessions as organised by the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC), which improved his condition.
“Seeing Joey respond to bubbles in baby sensory sessions, and hearing singing and live music was wonderful, it gave us hope,” recalled Sam.
“On Christmas Day, covid rules were relaxed and we were allowed to be together.”
Now that he has recovered, Joey was invited to switch on the Christmas lights at the hospital.
Victoria Buchanan, from ECHC, said: “We would like to say an enormous thank you to Joey and his family for helping to make our first ever Christmas Light Switch On at the new hospital so special.
“Every year, ECHC makes Christmas magical for children in hospital by creating a living advent calendar around the wards with a new surprise behind each door, with everything from a real ballerina to festive magic sessions and a samba band.
“We also fund the hospital play team and Christmas gifts to make sure treats and distractions are always available to bring smiles and comfort.”