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Elsa’s super swim brings toy joy for young patients

Published 17/10/2017

Derbyshire Children’s Hospital has received a delivery of some brand new toys thanks to the superhuman efforts of one of our young patients. 

Elsa Pope recently donned a cape and took to Derby Teaching Hospitals’ hydrotherapy pool to help buy some new equipment for the Paediatric Physiotherapy department. 

The four-year-old, who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, attends the children’s hospital for physiotherapy each week and came up with the idea herself to swim two widths of the pool as Elsa the Superhero.

Mum Nelly Anderton-Pope said: “Elsa told me that she was going to go to work and raise some pennies so that she could buy some new toys for the hospital. I told her to sleep on it but then the next day she came up to me and said she wanted to dress as a superhero and do a sponsored swim! I’m so proud of her. Afterwards, we had all of these lovely toys in our house but she never said ‘these are for me’, because she wanted them to be for the other children to play with.”

Elsa’s efforts have seen her raise £715, with the money being used to buy a range of equipment for the department, including a new flotation device for the hydrotherapy pool. 

Staff in the Paediatric Physiotherapy department use both creative play and role play to encourage children to get involved in the sessions, with Elsa developing a strong bond with Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist Penny Sutherland. 

Nelly, of Mickleover, said: “Everyone at the hospital is so nice and creates such a positive environment for the children. Elsa actually really enjoys going to physiotherapy and absolutely adores Penny. She’s always asking about her and it’s so lovely that they have such a warm relationship.”

Penny said: “Elsa is one of the most enthusiastic children we see in physiotherapy. She works so hard at her exercises and wants everyone else who comes to enjoy their therapy times too. Lots of children have already had the opportunity to use the toys and we’re all really impressed that she raised so much money with her swim. We think Elsa is a real superhero for physiotherapy!” 

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of disorders that affect the connective tissues that support the skin, bones, blood vessels and many other organs and tissues.

Last Modified 17/10/2017