Patient, 6, rings Queen Elizabeth Hospital cancer bell

A ‘nice and brave’ six-year-old girl is one of the first to ring a special bell at Queen Elizabeth Hospital to mark the end of her cancer treatment.

Bonnie Meehan-Lysandrou was a patient at Woolwich Hospital’s Tiger Ward after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of four.

The six-year-old has been undergoing chemotherapy for two years in the pediatric cancer ward of Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and at Royal Marsden Hospital.

But on July 8, Bonnie was finally able to ring a special end-of-treatment bell at an outdoor ceremony to celebrate her triumph.

And she arrived at QEH in style, rocking out in a limousine where she was greeted with cheers and applause by her family and the Tiger Ward staff who treated her.

Bonnie and Her Family / The New End of the Treatment Bubble. Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

The event went ahead thanks to ‘End of Treatment Bells’, a charity that helps young people celebrate milestones in their cancer journey, after donating an extra mobile bell to the Tiger Ward that can be used outdoors.

Indoor celebrations were paused due to Covid-19 visit restrictions, so the newly donated bell has made a big difference to families and people like Bonnie who are now able to ring the token bell.

It was a memorable day for Bonnie and her family, and Bonnie’s mother Louise said they would be “forever grateful” to the hospital staff.

Louise said: “Thank you to everyone at Tiger Ward for your kindness, compassion and wonderful care you have shown for Bonnie.

“You have all become like family to us, and we will always hold a special place in our hearts for you. We are forever grateful and will never forget the love and support you have given us.”

Emily Walton, Interim Lead Pediatric Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist said: “We were so happy to be able to celebrate with Bonnie and her family and have her have this special moment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Bonnie has shown so much courage, strength and kindness during her treatment and we are so proud that she rang the doorbell.”

“Thank you at the end of treatment Bell Charity for providing an extra bell. At Tiger Ward, the end of treatment is always such a remarkable achievement, and we think it’s important to recognize the journey that both the child and the young person and their families have taken.”

For more information about the charity, visit the End of Treatment Bell website.

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