Sister pledges to give ‘something back’ to lifesavers

JPCT-15-10-11 S11420449a  Sophia Palombo (in red) is hosting a christmas fair in Bury to raise money for a Southampton hospital that helped her sister Gabriella (in black) when she was hit by a car. 2 Hillside Nurseries, Bury, West Sussex -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-15-10-11 S11420449a Sophia Palombo (in red) is hosting a christmas fair in Bury to raise money for a Southampton hospital that helped her sister Gabriella (in black) when she was hit by a car. 2 Hillside Nurseries, Bury, West Sussex -photo by steve cobb
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A YOUNG woman from Bury has organised a Christmas fair to raise money for a specialist ambulance that saved her sister’s life.

Sophia Palombo’s younger sibling Gabriella, now 21, was hit by a car five years ago, and taken to Southampton General hospital.

DANNY MAC plays Dodger.

DANNY MAC plays Dodger.

After witnessing first hand the hard work of medical staff there, Sophia, 23, and her family became involved with charity Friends of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Recounting the day of the accident, Sophia described how her sister and a friend stepped off a bus and were involved in a collision with an oncoming car.

“The girls were rushed off to St Richards hospital in Chichester who then contacted PICU in Southampton.”

Gabriella had multiple injuries including a broken leg, internal bleeding from a burst spleen, and critical head injuries.

After emergency surgery to remove her spleen a specialist PICU retrieval ambulance came to collect Gabriella from St Richards.

“The ambulance is incredible,” Sophia told the County Times.

“This is partly what saved Gabriella. It is the only reason they felt they could transfer her in such a critical state.

“Me and my family will never be able to completely thank the doctors and nurses at Southampton PICU, but helping them to fundraise, giving that something little back in order for them to help more families, is something that we will never stop doing,” said a determined Sophia.

Organising a Christmas fair at Bury Village Hall, The Street on Saturday November 19, 11am to 3.30pm, is one way she is helping the staff and unit that saved her sister’s life.

Entry is just £2, and all money raised on the day will go towards the £150,000 needed for a new specialist ambulance, fitted out as a mobile intensive care unit, to serve the region’s paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton.

“It is something that the unit need so much, and in fact, with patients being transferred from further away, such as West Sussex, it is vital for the survival of critically ill children,” said Sophia.

Sophia’s Christmas fair boasts stalls, competitions, raffles, auctions and a ‘Name the bear’ competition.

There will also be a special celebrity guest, Danny Mac, who plays Dodger Savage in Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks.