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Family of Ellie Nicholl who died of rare neurological disorder donate toys to hospital

Ciara and Billy Nicholl presenting the Children's Ward at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen with the donation. Accepting the gifts on behalf of the Children’s Ward are Maureen McManus, Staff Nurse; Doris Kirkpatrick, Play Therapist; Siobhan O'Donnell, Staff Nurse; Linda McClure, Domestic; Irene Kettyle, Ward Sister; Joan Thompson, Nursing Auxillary and Suzanne Hamnett, Ward Clerk 
Gareth McKeown

FERMANAGH parents have generously donated gifts and toys to a hospital children's ward in recognition of the care given to their late daughter.

Billy and Ciara Nicholl from Garvary, outside Enniskillen made the heartfelt gesture in recognition of the support given to their eight-year-old daughter Ellie, who died in March.

Ellie was the only child in Ireland with the slow progressive neurological condition known as H-ABC syndrome.

The condition is very rare with fewer than 30 sufferers across the world.

Mrs Nicholl said the family decided to make the donation to the South West Acute Hospital in recognition of the care Ellie received in the last four weeks of her life.

"I just thought for all the children that are in that scenario, who can't get home it just makes it that wee bit more special for the end of life care. Rather than just donate money we wanted something there to be in Ellie's memory." she said

"What the nurses in Enniskillen did was they actually decorated Ellie's room with lights, wee posters and made it an absolutely beautiful room to be in. It was a room with an atmosphere, a happy room," she added.

The Western Trust thanked the family for their generous donation, which included a laser twilight projector, bubble foot massager, lights for the sensory room and a CD boombox to ensure Ellie's memory lives on at the hospital. Ellie's big brother Arran also donated a selection of board games.

"All these gifts were gratefully appreciated and will contribute to the care and comfort of our patients and their families," the spokesman said.

In August 2015 the Nicholl family began fundraising to help raise awareness of Ellie's condition and find a cure.

To date the Ellie Nicholl Research Fund has raised almost £30,000 and the family has pledged to continue this good work.

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