A special relationship, a beautiful bequest

24.10.18 Categories: Patient stories, Supporter stories, How donations help,

Amy Lee’s life was saved at Evelina London when she was four months old. Seven years later, her grandmother discovered that her close friend has left a gift in her will to the hospital, in thanks for the care the staff gave Amy.

Amy’s story

Amy was in hospital in Surrey with flu and bronchiolitis when she went into crisis and was rushed to Evelina London in an ambulance. Whilst on life support, it was discovered that Amy had a hole in her heart.

Age seven months, Amy had heart surgery at Evelina London to repair the damage caused. She suffered complications during surgery when her lung collapsed followed by some circulation problems, but thanks to the amazing care from the hospital she came through it. Amy is now eight years old and works as a child model on top of her schooling.

Amy’s grandmother, Ali Lee, was impressed with the care Amy received at the hospital.

‘They were absolutely brilliant – and as a nurse, I’m fussy,’ says Ali.

‘The consultant was very good in explaining in layman’s terms every detail of the operation and what they did. And the staff there were very helpful. Everyone from the cleaning staff and the receptionist to the clinical staff were just so friendly and lovely. We couldn’t fault anybody.’

A moving discovery

Ali had a close friend of over 20 years who sadly passed away. Ali was overseeing matters relating to her friend’s will when she realised her friend had done something very special for Amy and the hospital.

‘She and Amy just loved each other,’ says Ali. ‘She was quite housebound so didn’t get out much, but I used to go and see her every day and take Amy along - she and Amy just hit it off. Amy would go and sit on her lap and cuddle her and help her. If we did go anywhere, Amy insisted on holding her hand and carrying her bag for her. Amy took it on herself to be my friend’s guardian.

‘Of course my friend knew all about Amy’s heart operation. She hadn’t told me she was going to leave anything to Evelina London, but she made me executor of her will and as soon as I saw it in there, I thought, “Oh that’s lovely, thank you.”’

Leaving a gift in one’s will is a wonderful way to acknowledge the treatment and care that a loved one has received. Ali thinks her friend’s wonderful donation was made for that reason, and was typical of her generous nature.

‘She was just a very giving, lovely person. I think that because she was so fond of Amy, she wanted to do something that Amy would remember her by.’

Leaving a gift in your will, whatever the size, can make a real difference to staff and patients for years to come. Find out more about how you can do this and the support we can offer along the way.

Lead image: Amy Lee in hospital as a baby with her mum Jennie, and Amy now.