The grieving parents of an Ashfield teenager have said they are not celebrating Christmas this year as they come to terms with the death of their daughter.
However, they are hoping to put a smile on hundreds of faces on the children’s ward at King’s Mill Hospital, where their 17-year-old passed away earlier this year.
Lisa and Carl Slaney, from Kirkby, are about to experience their first Christmas without their daughter, Corah, who died in July after a long battle with mitochondrial disease - a terminal illness which gives sufferers constant seizures and convulsions.
Tearful mum Lisa said they have decided against celebrating Christmas this year because they are ‘too heartbroken’.
She said: “We’re going to get away for Christmas because it’s going to be too hard.
“We told family and friends not to send us any cards and gifts, but instead, buy toys for ward 25.
“This time last year, we were there with Corah and when people brought her gifts it put a smile on her face.
“So we want to do this for other poorly children - because we can’t do it again for Corah.”
The Slaney family worked together with Empire Boxing Club, based in Sutton, to gather hundreds of gifts, which they delivered to children of all ages on the ward on Monday.
Simon Jewkes, from Mansfield, head junior coach at Empire, is a family friend of the Slaney’s and said he is proud of the huge number of donations the club had.
He said: “It’s difficult to hold back your emotions in here.
“My son was on the ward earlier this year as well as Corah, so we just wanted to give back after everything the staff have done for us.
“So hopefully, we are is making their jobs easier by making these kids happy.”
Children, parents and staff at Greenwood Primary School, where Lisa works, also brought gifts in for the hospital.
Gifts and sweet treats were also given out to staff on the ward as a special thank you for ‘being so fantastic throughout Corah’s illness’.
Dad Carl said: “It’s lovely to see everybody has clubbed together but it’s very emotional for me and Lisa.
“Corah would be over the moon if she could see what people were doing now.
“She would have liked to have been part of it all because she loved Christmas and giving presents to people.”
Before Corah passed away, the whole community got behind the remarkable teen after Chad highlighted a campaign to raise thousands to pay for modifications to their home which would allow them to properly care for the former Ashfield School pupil.
Local businesses, friends and family pulled together to help with the fundraising and a social media campaign, AChorus4Corah, attracted more than 4,000 Facebook likes.
And the campaign even led Corah to meeting her idol, pop superstar Jessie J.
The Parent Teacher Association at Greenwood School also raised cash as part of this campaign - but unfortunately Corah passed away before they had chance to hand over the money.
But they still wanted to donate the money, so will be buying a purple pool table for ward 25 in Corah’s memory - as they wanted her favourite colour to be part of the childrens’ lives.