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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 12 December 2013

His 75th operation took place only a couple of weeks ago where he had all of his teeth removed. Acid caused by the constant reflux he also suffers caused major tooth decay and doctors became concerned that if left, they could cause serious infection.

Mum Emma, 32, who is George's full time carer, said:- "The grotto is absolutely lovely and George and Ava have had a wonderful time.  George told me he didn't want to go because he was having too much fun and his face when Santa came out to greet him was a picture.  What's nice is that there is quite a lot of space, often you can feel a bit rushed and cramped in some of the grottos, but this has not felt like that at all and there is so much for the children to do while they are here.  The fact it is also raising so much money for Claire House is brilliant because the charity has been so important to us for so many different reasons."

George is currently receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, undergoing tests and receiving treatment, but when he is at home in Wallasey, the Claire House Hospice to Home Team step in to allow Emma and her husband Neil a break from being carers, giving them peace of mind that their precious George is in the very best hands.

The Hospice to Home Team provide a vital lifeline to families in the community, as well as acting as a liaison between the hospice and the various other external teams that make sure a child with a complex medical condition receives the very best care.

Emma explained the support her family received from Claire House, in particular through The Hospice to Home Team, and said:- "Having the support of the Hospice to Home Team has been such a comfort to Neil and I, as well as George and his big sister Ava. Hospitals are quite a scary prospect for George, although he is getting used to them. But having the Hospice to Home Team means that, if I need a break for a couple of hours, I know he's in the very best hands whilst not having to go to a hospital or leave the comfort of home."

From left to right; Lauren Knights, Marketing and Communications Executive for Claire House, Ava Johnson, Santa Claus, George Johnson, Derek Millar, Commercial Director for Pyramids Shopping Centre and George and Ava’s mum Emma.

The family are currently fundraising themselves to raise money for an extremely costly trip to Ohio next year for a £15,000 consultation with Carlo Di Lorenzo, an expert in gastroenterology at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

George Johnson enjoying all aspects of the multi-sensory Santa’s grotto.

Opening dates and times for Claire House Santa's Grotto at Pyramids are:- Thursday and Friday, 12 December and 13 December, 12pm to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 14 December and 15 December,  11am to 5pm; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, December 18, 19 and 20, 12pm to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 21 December and 22 December, 11am to 5pm; Monday, 23 December, 12pm to 5pm; Christmas Eve, 11am to 3pm.

For more information about festive events at Pyramids Shopping Centre, where parking is only £2 for a full day and free all day Sunday, go to:-

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