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'They've become part of my journey and part of family' 'They've become part of my journey and part of family' As part of our series this week celebrating the Noah's Ark Children's HospitalforWales'10thbirthdayand the official opening of its PS63.8m second phase tomorrow, we speak to young patient Libby Fussell about how the hospital's dedicated staff have made her stay so comforting.

IN the decade since it first opened, the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales has helped 750,000 children and supported families across Wales.

Staff at the hospital have shown they add a priceless compassion and care to each of the lives they touch - painting nails, hosting birthday parties and anything else they can do to make children's time in hospital as comfortable that it can be.

Each of those children have their own story of illness, sadness, happiness, bravery and gratitude that Wales has such a fantastic facility for children.

Inspirational 12-yearold Libby Fussell, from Newport, has been a patient in the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales since October 31, 2014.

She has been a patient in both phases of the children's hospital and was one of the first patients admitted to the new PS63.8m Welsh Government-funded second phase. Libby, who cut the ribbon on Owl Ward at its opening on February 13, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour made up of a combination of two different types of cancer.

She has had two brain operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and with her treatment hopefully finishing soon, she can't wait to get home.

Speaking about her room in the Rainbow Ward, Libby said: "Being in hospital isn't very nice, but my favourite part of being here are all of the nurses and doctors. They make me laugh and they've helped me through this hard time.

"They have become part of my journey and part of my family.

"I'm now on a different ward to the one I started my treatment on. All my favourite nurses who looked after me on my old ward often come and visit me on my new ward.

"One of the nurses, Zoe, comes and does my nails for me and all the nurses pop in and say hello and to see how I'm doing.

"I think the new hospital is really good."

Libby lost the ability to walk and use my left side when she had an operation on her brain.

She added: "I really didn't like having to use a commode. In the new hospital they use hoists to get children from their beds to the toilet so they don't have to use a commode. It's much nicer, there's TVs and lots to keep you amused.

"The new hospital has en-suite rooms which are really nice as you have your own toilet and there's a pull-down bed for when my mum and dad stay with me.

"It makes a massive difference, as before my parents had to stay in a chair and now they have a nice bed to get a proper sleep on."

Libby has done lots to help the charities that have supported her while she has been in hospital.

Her old primary school, St Mary's Primary, has held a concert in her honour to raise funds for Latch and Noah's Ark Charity.

Libby cut off her hair and donated it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides real hair wigs for children suffering from hair loss.

Libby has her own Facebook page called Smile with Libby. Everyone always comments how wonderful her smile is.

Libby said: "As you can see I like to smile a lot which is good because I have had to be very brave and that's where my smile helps me and those around me.

"I'd like to thank all the doctors and nurse and everyone for helping me to kick cancer's butt."

Libby has had some famous visitors wishing her well during her stay in the hospital, including Sam Warburton, David Hasselhoff and Cardiff City players.

Mum Sarah Fussell said that the hospital, staff and everyone supporting it across Wales were making a difference to families from all over the country.

She said from the moment they stepped into the hospital they have been in good hands.

Sarah said: "We were brought into the children's hospital late one evening, it was dark and we were unsure where we were going.

"When we arrived, the nurse that greeted us was amazing and made us feel less anxious.

"It was all very frightening, being brought into a different hospital and Libby had just been diagnosed with a mass on her brain.

"The doctors were with us through the night, and Jason [Libby's dad] and I were at Libby's bedside throughout. Everyone around us was so reassuring. They didn't leave us at all. From that day onwards until now, nurses, doctors and all the staff have been amazing, helping us along this journey with Libby.

"Latch have been really kind. They have really helped us, nothing is too much trouble for them and they are always asking us if there is anything that we need, or if there's anything they can do.

"They even hosted Libby's birthday party in their meeting room at the hospital so that we could celebrate her birthday.

"I'd like to thank all the charities that have helped us along the way and are still helping us now.

"Noah's Ark have helped Libby with their amazing play specialists.

"If your child is feeling unwell and is stuck in bed, the play specialists will visit the child and find them something to do.

"Without this, Libby's days would have been so long. On behalf of the whole family I'd like to say "thank you" to everyone who has helped us - you've all been amazing!

| If you'd like to support |any of the hospital's charities, visit Libby with Jason Mohammad for the BBC 24 hour broadcast


Libby Fussell with Cardiff Blues players |

Libby Fussell, centre, with, from left, her sister Eve, mum Sarah, dad Jason and sister Charlotte

Libby Fussell and her mum Sarah in Libby's room on Rainbow Ward


Libby Fussell with her mum Sarah, dad Jason and David Hasseloff
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 14, 2015
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