Sheffield’s Elf service fancy dress fundraiser

Elf worke:  Annabelle Sutherland is raising money for Sheffield Children's Hospital, which saved the life of her brother Oliver, left.

Elf worke: Annabelle Sutherland is raising money for Sheffield Children's Hospital, which saved the life of her brother Oliver, left.

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ANNABELLE Sutherland is giving thanks to the hospital which saved her little brother’s life - by dressing as an elf throughout the whole of December.

Annabelle, aged 22, is wearing her festive fancy dress to the supermarket, while out with friends, and to work.

“It is awkward sitting in traffic during rush hour dressed up as an elf,” she admitted. “I also have to go to a lot of meetings with clients for my job. They’re going to find it really hard to take me seriously, I’m sure.

“Children have been stopping me in the streets to pass on their wishes to Santa - that has been the most entertaining part so far!”

Annabelle’s brother Oliver was just 14 months old when he fell into a swimming pool and stopped breathing. He was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and put into an induced coma.

Annabelle, from Dore in Sheffield, said: “His body and vital organs were being put under stress after he swallowed a dangerous amount of water. There was a high risk of brain damage. It was a scary time for my family.”

Annabelle was just five at the time, but still recalls the ordeal clearly.

“I can remember so much even though I was so young,” she said. “I remember the sound of the sirens as the ambulance arrived, and visiting Oliver in the hospital and seeing all the tubes.”

After four days on a life support machine, Oliver began showing signs of improvement. After two more days of close monitoring, he made a full recovery and was able to go home. He is now a fit and healthy 18-year-old.

Annabelle, who commutes to Manchester every day to work for an electrical safety firm, has even inspired colleagues to dress as Christmas angels. All the money raised will go towards the hospital’s £40 million Make it Better campaign.

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