Simon's lasting legacy

YOUNG hospital patients are enjoying the benefits of an educational lifeline, thanks to the enduring love for a boy who died of leukaemia.Children being treated on Bergholt and Boxford wards at Ipswich Hospital can now study on a top-of-the range laptop computer, presented to hospital staff by the parents of Simon Crofts.

YOUNG hospital patients are enjoying the benefits of an educational lifeline, thanks to the enduring love for a boy who died of leukaemia.

Children being treated on Bergholt and Boxford wards at Ipswich Hospital can now study on a top-of-the range laptop computer, presented to hospital staff by the parents of Simon Crofts.

Simon, 14, from Crowfield, had leukaemia for three years before he died in 2000 and his family and friends at his funeral collected more than £1,000. As a result of the care the teenager received, his family decided the money should go to a fund in the ward.

The gift from Simon's parents will enable the youngsters in hospital to study a variety of programmes and, hopefully, an e-mail link will be installed so they can keep in contact with school friends and teachers.


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Lesley McGhee, sister on the Bergholt ward, said: "This computer is invaluable for us and it is a lifeline for the children in the hospital. It is normality for them in a strange environment and it encourages them to learn."

Simon was diagnosed in 1997 with leukaemia when he was aged 11. During the next three years he spent a lot of time receiving care at the Bergholt ward before the Debenham High School pupil died on December 1, 2000.

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Presenting the hospital with the computer, Simon's mother, Judy, said: "Simon had a wonderful sense of humour. He was very brave and put others before himself."

She felt the computer was vital for the ward and believed Simon would have been glad the money had been spent in that way.

"Simon had long bouts of chemotherapy and was in hospital for a long period, but he felt it was still worth doing things like school work and that it was still necessary," said Mrs Crofts.

"We wanted to provide something for the hospital that he would have used and we are pleased he will be remembered in that way."

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