South London Press reader leaves £5K to former St George’s paediatric patient who beat cancer
A boy who beat cancer will get to see his family in Thailand again after an unbelievable gift from a South London Press reader, who is leaving him £5,000 in his will after reading about his battle with cancer in the newspaper.
Earlier this year, 10-year-old Patrick McCarthy beat cancer on his tenth birthday after three years of treatment for leukaemia at St George’s Hospital, where paediatric services are rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
Patrick rang the end of treatment bell to celebrate this amazing milestone on Pinckney Ward, surrounded by his family and the paediatric oncology team that looked after him during his treatment at hospital.
Gerald Lidbury, 86, lives in Littlehampton, near Worthing on the south coast, but grew up in Camberwell and still reads the South London Press. He spotted Patrick’s story, felt inspired and said: “we need more good news stories in the world. I don’t know what sort of pain he has been through, and I wanted to treat him.”
“I remembered the story. I thought as a young boy he’d probably like to go to Disney World or something. It was the first nice thing I saw in the newspaper for donkeys’ years. Maybe someone else will see it and think ‘that’s a good idea.’”
Patrick’s dad, Gerard McCarthy, said his family were ‘over the moon’ receiving such a generous gift.
He said: “We haven’t been able to see our family in Thailand, where Patrick was born, since he started his treatment. It’s like a dream come true!”
“We spoke to Mr Lidbury on the phone to say thank you, and Patrick spoke to him as well.”
Natasha Alleyne, Senior Sister of Pinckney Ward at St George’s, said: “This is fantastic news for Patrick and his family. His journey with cancer has been tough, but very inspirational, and it’s great to see that he is happy, healthy and has lots of opportunities to look forward to.”
“Everyone at St George’s is delighted for Patrick and his family. This is an extraordinary gift of kindness, and we wish the McCarthy family a bright and happy future!”
For further information, please read South London Press.