LITTLE Ellie White will play a starring role today when she switches on the Christmas lights at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The one-year-old from Halfway, Sheffield, spent last Christmas and New Year on a ward at the hospital, too poorly to go home.
She needed two operations after she was born, the first before she was even a day old to remove a blockage from her inflamed bowel.
This year she will be spending Christmas with her family but will return today to switch on the hospital’s Christmas lights.
She will be helped by her big brother Noah, two, and Sheffield’s own TV star Richard McCourt - one half of presenting duo Dick and Dom.
Dick started his entertainment career at the hospital’s radio station as a teenager.
Ellie’s mum Anna White said: “Christmas on the ward was as nice as it could be, but thanks to the work of the fantastic staff at the hospital we can look forward to a family Christmas in our own house this year.
She added: “Ellie owes her life to the highly specialist skills of the surgeons at the hospital.
“We are so lucky to have the Children’s Hospital and the expertise within it so close to home.”
Children’s Hospital Charity mascot Theo Bear will join the celebrations which kick off at 4pm.
Also attending will be Father Christmas himself.
All the money raised from The Children’s Hospital Charity’s Christmas campaign will be spent on enhancing the theatres department, where the hospital’s dedicated staff perform 11,000 operations each year.
Businesses and individuals have the chance to buy personalised snowflakes which will be displayed inside the hospital.
Log on to http://www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/ to find out more about the campaign.