Patient Fred becomes honorary member of building team

Three weeks ago life changed for teenager Fred. He suddenly fell ill, was admitted to Ipswich Hospital and lost his memories.

But inspirational Fred has discovered a world of NHS friends in hospital and his story will warm your heart.

The 16-year-old is a patient on the seventh floor and his room overlooks the building site where workers are building a new Breast Care Centre. He became fascinated with watching the building work and when he went for a closer look, it led to some unlikely friendships.

A picture of Fred, wearing a hi-vis jacket and pink builders helmet, sat on his hospital bed overlooking the building site where the breast care centre is being built

Fred can see the new Breast Care Centre being built.

Brian Knight is the project manager for Beardwell, the company doing the building work. He said ‘Fred is a honorary part of the team now. He comes to see us every day to wave and say hello. We’ve given Fred his own hi-vis jacket and hard hat. Fred is going to write a note and we will bury it like a time capsule underground. It’s great – we hope we are helping him. We certainly like having him around.”

Until his illness, Fred was playing football, gaming on his PlayStation and studying for school exams. Now Fred is using sticky notes to write messages in the window for the team seven floors down on the ground. ‘Happy Easter’ it reads now.

Fred said: “I looked out of the window from the hospital and saw the builders and thought I wanted to find out more about what’s going on. I like building and I’ve lots of questions.”

Fred’s mum Claire said: “Fred is so positive about what’s around him. He’s discovering things for the first time again, and he’s full of joy. Everyone we meet in hospital is helping with that. We’ve been into the building site for a walk around now it’s safe – Fred is standing on the very concrete he’s watched them lay.”

It’s not just the hospital builders making friends with Fred – housekeepers are bringing him extra biscuits on their snack trolley, porters are fist-bumping him in the corridor and he’s a welcome regular in the coffee shop.

Claire said: “It’s such a positive place to be. All the nurses and healthcare assistants and ward staff are amazing. They are so kind.”

Clinical teams are working hard to investigate and care for Fred’s mystery illness.

Find out more about the Breast Care Centre and the fundraising Blossom Appeal here https://www.esneft.nhs.uk/it-begins-work-starts-to-build-a-breast-care-centre-at-ipswich-hospital/

A picture of Fred at the new breast care centre, with his mum Claire and Beardwell's Brian and Archie

Fred at the new Breast Care Centre, with his mum Claire and Beardwell’s Brian and Archie

Fred looking out of his hospital window at the building site, wearing a hi-vis jacket and pink builders' helmet.

Fred surveys the work.

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