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Meopham pupil's gift to others after life-saving care at Medway Maritime Hospital

A teenager who nearly died of a rare disease has given Christmas presents to the hospital that helped save his life.

Oakley Orange, 13, from Empire Close, Strood, returned to Medway Maritime Hospital to hand out gifts to children in Dolphin ward.

Oakley Orange (front left) presents gifts at Medway Maritome Hospital
Oakley Orange (front left) presents gifts at Medway Maritome Hospital

Mum Lorraine Orange and sister Tilly, 12, accompanied him on their fourth annual visit to say thank you to staff and cheer up young patients.

Lorraine, 51, said: “It means so much to us as a family to do this for children at the hospital at Christmas, as we know what that’s like.

“We would like to say thank you to everyone who donated to make this possible again this year.

"We have had donations from families in Australia and America whose children have had the same illness as Oakley.

“We are also going to the hospital in East Grinstead where Oakley was also treated.”

Oakley Orange was left fighting for his life after a reaction to medication.
Oakley Orange was left fighting for his life after a reaction to medication.

The Meopham School pupil suffered an horrific allergic reaction to medication after a severe rash appeared on his chest when he was seven.

Lorraine and father Steven, watched in horror as their son, diagnosed with life-threatening Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, became unrecognisable over the next 24 hours.

His body was covered in blisters the size of golf balls, he had to be wrapped in bandages from head to toe and he had to learn to walk again.

His condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a specialist burns unit, losing 100% of his skin as well as his nails and hair.

Oakley is still under four hospitals, including King’s College and the Evelina in London.

Lorraine, who is also mum to Ellis, 17, and Maisie, 18, said: “It has become a tradition to us as a family and this year we had up to 50 people donate, many giving more than one gift and some giving money.

Oakley Orange, from Rochester, with his mum Lorraine chat to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markleis presented with an award and meets Prince Harry during the WellChild Awards 2019 in London.
Oakley Orange, from Rochester, with his mum Lorraine chat to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markleis presented with an award and meets Prince Harry during the WellChild Awards 2019 in London.

"I post on social media exactly what I have bought so everyone knows exactly what they have given.”

In October, Oakley received a WellChild awardin a competition supported by patron Prince Harry for his bravery.

He was picked from 100 nominations across the UK to be named Inspirational Child.

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