‘The day they never thought they’d see’

Ellie Thompson celebrates her last day at Norton Free School with a limo ride for all her friends after beating cancer
Ellie Thompson celebrates her last day at Norton Free School with a limo ride for all her friends after beating cancer
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Dressed in a prom dress and leaving her Sheffield primary school for the last time in a stretch limo – it was the day Ellie Thompson’s parents feared they would never see.

Ellie, aged 11, and her classmates were picked up in style on their last ever day at Norton Free School, Norton, as they waved goodbye to their teachers and prepared for the next stage of their lives at secondary school.

The girls, in gowns, and the boys, in suits, were taken to The Oakes Holiday Centre, Norton, for an evening of outdoor activities, a disco and barbecue, all provided free of charge by the venue.

Parents of the Year Six pupils saved for and planned the event all year, to give the children a special send-off to mark their last day at primary school.

For Ellie’s parents, Lindsay and Carl Thompson, from Jordanthorpe, it was a day they once feared their daughter would never enjoy after she was diagnosed with leukaemia two years ago.

After chemotherapy which caused Ellie to lose her hair, and a daily cocktail of drugs, she was given the all-clear earlier this year.

Mum Lindsay, 33, a nursery nurse, said: “She is now free from cancer, so to see Ellie leaving school with all her friends was wonderful – there was a time we wondered whether we would ever be able to experience it.

“There was a leavers’ ceremony at the church earlier this week and I couldn’t stop bawling and I was the same during the leavers’ assembly at school – I just kept thinking Ellie might not have seen it.

“There are so many children we have lost along the way, Ellie is one of the lucky ones, but the friends she lost are never far from our minds.

“You become a family on the ward at the children’s hospital when you are all going through the same thing and experiencing the same emotions.

“We are delighted Ellie was able to experience her last day at school with her friends who have supported her, especially her best friend, Courtney Voyse, who’s always been there for her.”