BRAVE Jay Gleeson has been through a tough year.
After being diagnosed with leukaemia in January, the nine-year-old then endured nine months of chemotherapy treatment at the Piam Brown ward at Southampton General Hospital.
But the youngster is now in remission and to thank the staff who cared for him, more than £800 was raised in a charity fun day.
Jay was diagnosed with Burkitt’s leukaemia/lymphoma after complaining of leg and chest pains.
His mum Jo lived at the hospital, while dad Peter looked after four-year-old Rosie at home in Oxford Close, Fareham.
Jo, 38, said: ‘It was just completely devastating.
‘You don’t think it’s going to happen to you.
‘But he has been amazing. We never lied to him. That’s the biggest thing for anybody who starts out on this journey – to be honest.
‘It puts everything into perspective. It’s made us a lot stronger as a family. We appreciate our time together far more than we did.’
Jo has paid tribute to the staff in the ward.
‘They were all absolutely amazing,’ she said.
‘What they do and how they go in there day in and day out and deal with the constant flow of children, I don’t know how they do it.’
Jay added: ‘The staff were very good. I didn’t like the hospital because I was in there for a long time. I never thought I was going to get out.’
Staff at the Starfish day nursery in Fareham who used to look after sister Rosie, held a fundraising day complete with a bouncy castle, face painting and games.
Ami Lewis, team leader at the nursery in Salterns Lane, said: ‘I heard that Jay was quite poorly and we wanted to choose a charity that was close to us.
‘We know were the money is going and it’s a good cause.’
Jane Buchanan, charity fund manager for the Piam Brown ward, said: ‘It’s an absolutely wonderful sum of money. I am absolutely delighted.’