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Grandad shaves off Father Christmas-style beard for brave grandson

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:52 28 July 2019

Mervyn Tokley with his impressive hair and beard before the big shave Picture: ALLY BAIN

Mervyn Tokley with his impressive hair and beard before the big shave Picture: ALLY BAIN

Ally Bain

A grandad from Suffolk has undergone a dramatic transformation as a way of helping the hospital that cares for his brave grandson.

Mevyn Tokley undergoing his transformation with the help of his grandson Thomas Picture: ALLY BAINMevyn Tokley undergoing his transformation with the help of his grandson Thomas Picture: ALLY BAIN

Mervyn Tokley, from Little Cornard, near Sudbury, was inspired to raise money for Great Ormond Street (GOSH), where his grandson first underwent an operation at just two days old.

Since then Thomas Turner, who is now 12, has had multiple operations to treat a rare condition called hypoplastic right heart pulmonary

atresia.

The condition means the right side of Thomas's heart has not developed properly and he is not able to join in with sports with his school mates at the Thomas Gainsborough School.

The end result! Mervyn standing proudly with his grandson Picture: ALLY BAINThe end result! Mervyn standing proudly with his grandson Picture: ALLY BAIN

When he was 11, the GOSH team performed open heart surgery on the brave youngster, from Great Cornard, and just two months ago he had yet another operation at the London hospital.

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Family friend Ally Bain said: "Meryvn is the traditional 'stiff-upper-lip' type of person who takes each day as they come, although his family could tell he had been thinking about what Thomas has been through."

Until earlier this year the 68-year-old, who used to have a passing resemblance to Father Christmas, had no idea that the overnight accommodation provided for parents at GOSH was funded by donations.

As a way of helping GOSH and the parents that have to stay there, Mr Tokley decided to raise money for them by shaving off his impressive hair and beard.

So far Mr Tokley, who had his head and beard shaved with the help of Thomas at Jon Cutters in Sudbury, has raised £700 for GOSH.

For more information on how to donate to Great Ormond Street hospital phone their supporter care team on 020 3841 3131.

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