Lighting up the London Eye

19 December 2019

Four of our young patients, Tourae, Emilia, Nancy and Josh, had the honour of lighting up the London Eye in the colours of Evelina London at a very special event. The famous London landmark glowed green, yellow, orange, pink and blue in honour of our 150th birthday.

Lighting up the London Eye

Four of our young patients took on the task of lighting up the London Eye in the colours of Evelina London, to celebrate the hospital’s 150th birthday. They've all had life-changing treatment at the hospital.

1 min 15 secs

An evening to remember

All four children gathered round the button together for the big switch-on. After a countdown from friends, family and Evelina London staff, the button was pushed, lighting up the London Eye in the colours of our logo, shining down and reflecting beautifully off the River Thames.

Everyone was then treated to festive songs performed by the Evelina Voices, a choir made up of Evelina London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff, before a ride on the Eye.

‘It’s a real treat to see such a recognisable London landmark illuminated in the colours of our logo, especially because you can see the London Eye from our hospital,’ says Janet Powell, director of nursing.
‘It’s a message that we will continue to provide the best care possible for the next 150 years and beyond.’
The London Eye, and the landscape of London at night
The London Eye, lit-up in Evelina London colours

The special task

Tourae, Emilia, Nancy and Josh have all had life-changing treatment at Evelina London, and having them take on the momentous task of hitting the switch was the perfect way to celebrate. 

Tourae, with mother Carroll and their friends
Tourae, with mother Carroll and their friends
'We’d do anything to say thank you to the hospital,’ says Carroll, mum to five-year-old Tourae.

‘When he got sick so suddenly, it made me realise that it could happen to anyone. A friend, a family member, your next-door neighbour, anyone could become ill at any time and might need incredible care like we received from all of the staff at Evelina London.’

Tourae has had his life saved twice by staff at the hospital; once when he was a baby after being born very prematurely and again earlier this year when he suffered severe breathing difficulties due to contracting influenza A and swine flu. Tourae made a full recovery thanks to the care of staff, so Carroll organised a superhero day at his school to raise money to say thank you.

Two young girls with their hands over a button outside, near the London Eye
Emilia and her sister, with hands poised over the button to turn on the lights

Like Tourae, six-year-old Emilia has also spent much of her young life at Evelina London. A rare condition meant that she had to have both kidneys removed, and her dad, Tim, later donated his kidney so Emilia could have a life-saving transplant.

Emilia and her family took part in the Donor Run at the British Transplant Games to raise money for the hospital. Tim also cycled all the way to the games in Newport, South Wales from Surrey, where they live.

‘We appreciate the staff at Evelina London so so much,’ he says.
‘We went in blind to what was happening - all we knew was that someone so precious to us was very sick, and all of the staff helped to educate us while continually showing a level of care and empathy that we will never forget.’
Nancy, with Dr Aaron Bell, Consultant Paediatric Cardiology
Nancy, with Dr Aaron Bell, Consultant Paediatric Cardiology

Four-year-old Nancy has also had multiple lifesaving operations at the hospital, as she was born with an incredibly rare heart defect which additionally affected other organs in her body. Now thanks to the amazing care of hospital staff, Nancy is able to run and play like any healthy child.

‘It’s been a difficult journey but seeing Nancy now, you wouldn’t know she’d been through so much,’ says Nancy’s mum, Kayleigh.
‘We owe so much to the staff at Evelina London and really can’t thank them enough.'
‘Christmas is a really special time for our family, and it feels extra fitting to come back to Evelina London after Nancy has made such an amazing recovery. We’re all really excited to see her light up the London Eye.’
Two boys with their hands over a button, in the outdoors by the River Thames
Josh and his brother, ready to light up the London Eye

Their excitement was shared by eight-year-old Josh and his family, who were also at the event. Josh had two operations at the hospital to repair his elbow after breaking it in four places.

While he was there, Josh saw posters about Evelina London’s 150th anniversary and asked his mum, Samantha, if he could raise money.

‘We’re extremely proud of Josh for wanting to raise money for Evelina London,' says Samantha.
‘We decided that as a family we would do 10 walks of 15,000 steps each to make 150,000 steps for Evelina London's 150 years and raised £800.'
‘The care Josh received was incredible and the hospital facilities are so fantastic. It felt like every effort is made to make the place feel friendly and less daunting for kids. It was great to give something back to the hospital and we’re all so excited about seeing Josh light up the London Eye.’

You can see how we’ve been celebrating our 150th birthday here, and it’s not too late to join in!

Why not do your own thing?

Have fun while raising money for Evelina London