�40,000 raised in memory of Hitchin two-year-old

FAMILY and friends of a two-year-old boy who died after falling into a swimming pool have raised �40,000 for the hospital which tried to save his life.

Oliver Else, from Hitchin, died in July last year, three weeks before his third birthday. He spent his final days at Addenbrooke’s Paedatrics Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where staff battled to save him.

Over the course of this year, Oliver’s parents, Lorna and Jason, Kingshott School, and Oliver’s nursery, Highbury Lodge, have all grouped together to raise money in Oliver’s memory.

So far, their efforts have purchased a fully equipped resuscitation unit, two ambulance retrieval bags and a CO2 monitor.

Future purchases for the unit include a blood purification unit and an anaesthetic dream machine. Lorna and Jason both plan to visit PICU in spring 2012 to see the equipment on the ward.

All the equipment will have a plaque marking it as donated by friends and family of Oliver Else.

Lorna told The Comet: “We are truly touched at how Hitchin’s community has rallied to raise funds to buy vital equipment for PICU in memory of Oliver.

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“It is a wonderful legacy to our beautiful boy who we miss so desperately now and always.”

The most recent event in the campaign was a Kings Walden farmers’ market this month, which raised nearly �800.

Kingshott School has held a number of events, with parents also taking on challenges including half marathons and dragon boat racing. Their efforts have raised more than �6,000, with Highbury Lodge raising �3,000 for the cause.