Children spending the festive season at the Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital were able to enjoy a special Christmas Day party with their loved ones on Monday, the first the hospital has been able to put on since before the pandemic.
The hospital in Sandy Bay hasn't been able to run a full-scale Christmas festival for four years, but more than 150 staff and volunteers came together to bring gifts and put on a parade for the young people.
Some staff dressed as Santa or as cartoon characters and there was a special visit from the "dog doctors", a group of caring canines who visit hospital wards to meet patients.
Chau Hiu-chung, a respiratory nurse and one of the organisers of the event, said she wanted the festivities to bring hope to the patients.
“I hope they will understand that the chronic diseases shall not deprive them of their opportunities to obtain happiness,” Chau said.
One mother of a 16-year-old boy with a chronic brain condition said she had been able to visit from the mainland for Christmas since the pandemic subsided. She said she hoped for a medical breakthrough that would help her son, who has been in hospital for almost ten years.
A 13-year-old patient said he hoped he would soon be reuniting with friends and family after undergoing surgery for a genetic bone disorder. He added that the party served as a good break from his regular rehabilitation work.
The hospital mainly serves children with rare diseases, as well as adults with spinal disorders.