They have been through some tough times, but nothing can beat the smiles and sheer joy on the faces of the kids after the Wanderers Westfield W-League team’s annual visit to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead on Monday.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, there is a chance that some of those kids won’t be able to go home to celebrate the festive occasion with their families.
So anything that can help them to forget their problems and bring a smile to their faces is always welcomed by the tremendously hard-working staff of The Children’s Hospital in Westmead.
As always, the Wanderers players were inspired by the courage and resilience of the kids and by the wonderful care and empathy of the staff.
It was uplifting, not only for the kids and their parents but for the players as well.
“I love doing this visit every year and have been doing it for five years and I make sure I am here every time,” said Wanderers captain Erica Halloway.
“This is probably the one thing on our calendar I love getting to.
“The kids are just amazing, they are the true heroes.
“A lot of them are going to be here over Christmas and a lot of them have been in here for probably other times, like Easter and their birthdays and to just be able to put a smile on their face goes such a long way for them and their families.”
Halloway could not sing the praises of the staff high enough.
“Walking through the wards, it is amazing to see what the staff do for the kids.
“They were all decked out and colourful and had all the things the kids love. I think that goes a long way for the kids and their time in here.
“For me, going in and just seeing … there are some kids who have been in there for months and just the character they show and the big smiles on their faces.
“They might have been a bit shy to start with, but then they just take your heart when you are with them and smiling through possibly their toughest times they are going through.”
Goalkeeper Abby Smith said she was inspired by the spirit of the kids and their ability to put aside the health issues they had during the visit.
“We do what we can and we just want to bring a positive light for all the kids that are here,” said Smith.
“A lot of the kids don’t really think about the circumstances they are in, so when we can come in they can just laugh and joke and it is like any other day and makes for a great environment.”