Tina Thomas, 32, from Dover, was heartbroken when her son Jack, who was born prematurely in May 2016, died in April 2017 having spent the majority of his life in hospital. Jack had a condition called TOFS, where upper part of the oesophagus doesn’t connect with the lower oesophagus and stomach.
As it approaches what would have been Jack’s second birthday, Thomas decided she wanted to do something in his memory that could benefit other children in hospital.
“I started a project to pay forward the kindness we received while Jack was poorly,” Thomas told HuffPost UK. “I want to put smiles on the faces of poorly children and give the gifts we can’t give to Jack to others instead.”
Thomas explained that she wanted to collect toys to help children in the Padua Ward at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford – as Jack had spent a lot of time there.
On Jack’s birthday, 30 May, she will take all the donated toys to the children in the ward.
To start the project, Thomas set up a Facebook page ‘In Memory Of Jack’ and shared her intentions of collecting donated toys. Since she wrote the post in March, the page has garnered 176 likes and she’s been shocked by how many gifts she has received, having initially expected just friends and family to donate.
On 1 May, she shared a photo of all the donations she had received. “Wow, this is what we have collected so far,” she wrote. “I am so thankful to everyone who has already donated. In just 29 days Jack would have been two. We didn’t even get to see him turn one.”
“However hard things get and however much we miss him, seeing how many people are coming together to do such a nice thing in his memory makes me so happy and so proud to have been his mummy,” Thomas added.
Thomas said anyone interested in donating can message her on the Facebook page and she will pass on her address.