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12-year-old King’s patient raises funds for children’s ward

24 March 2023 - A schoolgirl from Redhill has spent her time in hospital fundraising for toys and activities for her fellow patients

In September 2022, Khanak Kalidhar, 12, from Redhill, was admitted to King’s College Hospital with pancreatitis. She spent almost six months receiving hospital treatment, unable to eat or drink. She explained: “During my time at King’s, I helped decorate the ward for Halloween, Diwali and Christmas, and wrapped many presents for children on the ward. I could see that play equipment was so important to everyone, because it relaxes you and occupies your mind. I love crafts, and I decided to make crystal keyrings and sell them to help buy more toys and activities for children at King’s. I also wanted to do something to say thank you to all the staff who have cared for me and helped me recover.”

Khanak has sold 170 keyrings so far to friends and family, raising over £700 for play equipment for the Rays of Sunshine ward at King’s. Jackie Ambrose, Health Play Specialist Team coordinator at King’s College Hospital said: “Khanak is a true inspiration. Not only has she shown amazing positivity and resilience throughout her treatment and recovery, she has helped make a difference to the lives of other children receiving care at King’s. Khanak’s brilliant fundraising efforts have helped us fund a keyboard, tea party set and a toy car, which are all hugely popular with our young patients.”

Dr. Swati Kalidhar, Khanak’s mother, said: “When Khanak was admitted to hospital back in September 2022, we had no idea she would need treatment for such a long time and we have all missed her at home. But her fundraising challenge has kept her going, and she’s helped make hospital a better place for everyone on the ward. We are all very proud of Khanak and the way she has overcome the challenges life has thrown at her.”