A severely ill girl from Walkden is to get a surprise visit from Santa Claus tonight as part of Worsley Rotary Club’s Santa Sledge tour of Salford.
Lexi Chester, age 5, has suffered from multiple and complex life-threatening medical conditions since she was just 3 months old, when she was struck down with an infection while in hospital that left her 75% brain damaged.
The tot lives at Lentworth Drive with her adoring family: mum Emma, 35, who is trained in nursing, dad Anthony, 36, who works at the family business, Walkden’s Chester’s Coaches, her brothers Jake, 15, Mason, 11 and sisters Kendell, 12 and nine-year-old Elle.
Lexi is not able to attend school, needs 24-hour home care, can’t communicate with the outside world and her immune system is so weak she is effectively housebound.
Tragically things have been getting worse for little Lexi over the past months with severe pain and dislocations due to brittle bone disease.
She is dependent on oxygen to breathe, suffers with epileptic fits nightly and needs a cornucopia of medication pumped into her body through a syringe driver injected into her leg.
Daily visits for medication are covered by the Diana Community Team of Sandringham House in Salford, a team of dedicated advanced nurses who care for terminally-ill and chronically poorly children throughout Salford.
They’ve been Emma’s main support for Lexi for the past four years.
Lexi has had multiple admissions to intensive care in the past six months where she is placed on a ventilator.
The poorly tot has even had early onset puberty after damage to her brain stem sent her hormone levels to erratic levels.
It meant Lexi started her periods at just 4-years-old, a heart-wrenching blow for her upset family.
Now Lexi is on palliative end of life pathway care due to the severity of her terminal conditions. Even worse, a life-saving operation has now become inoperable for the five-year-old.
Worsley Rotary Club heard about Lexi’s inspirational battle for life and agreed to make a special detour to her Walkden home tonight, Thursday 3 December, so the poor girl can get a face-to-face visit from Santa.
And even if the weather turns, Santa will drop off his sleigh and head round in a car full of elves for Lexi’s visit.
Mum Emma Chester was stunned by the response and wanted to make a gesture of thanks to the kind volunteers who run this 35-year-old tradition.
She said: “We would just like to say a huge thank you and give recognition to Worlsey Rotary Club who have listened to my little princess’s story and answered emails to make this Christmas more special.
“It’s been an horrific year with things deteriorating for Lexi, she is not allowed to interact with people due to it making her seriously poorly.
“They have kindly changed their route and agreed to stop at our home while Father Christmas gets off the sleigh to come and have pictures taken with our special girl in her bedroom.
“We are so overwhelmed and so happy about this true community spirit to make memories for a special little girl that has touched people’s hearts near and far.
She added: “Please donate to a very worthy act that brings Christmas spirit to all adults and children.”
Santa’s elves will be shaking their buckets to collect donations across the 14-day tour of Worsley, Walkden, Winton, Little Hulton in the lead-up to Christmas. You can find all the dates and routes here