The West

Patients all smiles as Show passes on toys
Leukemia patient Annika Williams, 9, with some of the toys. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Patients at Princess Margaret Hospital might not have been able to make it to the Royal Show this year but a donation of handmade toys from the event brought a smile to the faces of some of Perth's sickest children.

Knitted teddy bears, rabbits, furry farm animals and a felt giraffe were among more than 50 handmade "cuddle toys" donated to the hospital from a craft competition at the Show.

Leukaemia patient Annika Williams was lucky enough to have first pick of the toys after having to leave many of her belongings in Albany when she moved to Perth for treatment.

The nine-year-old picked out a small red bird to keep "because he's so fluffy".

Several of the toys were made by prisoners at Boronia Pre- release Centre for Women as part of a program to equip the inmates with practical skills before their release. Boronia residents spent four weeks stitching the animals and exhibited them at the Show anonymously.

PMH Foundation chief executive Denys Pearce said it was always a delight to pass on the toys.

"One of the unique things about a children's hospital is that, effectively, the whole family gets admitted when a child has to go to hospital and so be able to do things like this really helps them with their time in the hospital," she said. Royal Agricultural Society president Hugh Harding said PMH patients had loved a mini-show the society took to the hospital last month and he believed giving the toys to the children was worth while.

The West Australian

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