Christmas magic in the children’s ward

Little Gabriel Angeleski has spent three out of his four Christmas Days in hospital, but he’s hoping to buck the trend this year.

The Warrawong boy, who has haemophilia, was among the  children who received a visit from Santa and the KidzWish fairy at Wollongong Hospital’s children’s ward on Thursday.

The four-year-old hugged and kissed the early Christmas gift he was given, although his mother Marina Angeleska said the biggest present would be to have him home on the special day.

Ilena Panozzo and her mum Ingrid meet the Kidzwish fairy.

‘‘Gabriel was diagnosed with haemophilia at nine months, and he’s been in and out of Wollongong and Randwick hospitals his whole life,’’ she said. 

‘‘That includes his first three Christmases and New Years, as well as his first three birthdays, as his birthday falls on December 22.

‘‘This is the second time in a fortnight he’s been in hospital, and he’s been in for seven days as he had a right hip joint bleed.

‘‘He’s a very active boy so he gets frustrated when he’s confined to a hospital bed – having the KidzWish fairy and Santa visit has really cheered him up today.’’

Gabriel wouldn’t let go of the Transformer action figure he’d been given, proudly showing it off to nurses and other staff.

‘‘It’s a Transformer, it’s my favourite,’’ he said. ‘‘I watch them all the time on my mum’s phone.’’

KidzWish ambassador Mat Campbell said the festive season could be tough for sick and injured kids and their parents.

‘‘Christmas is a special time and it can be disheartening to have to spend it in hospital, particularly for children,’’ he said. 

‘‘If having Santa and the KidzWish fairy in to share some Christmas cheer can lift the spirits of these kids, then that’s great.’’

KidzWish executive director Chris Beaven said the charity was able to provide support and gifts  thanks to the ongoing generosity of the Illawarra community.

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