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Royal visitor opens Leeds Children's hospital
11:00am Thursday 12th April 2012 in News
A former Ilkley schoolgirl seriously injured in a climbing frame accident came face to face with royalty when Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited a Leeds hospital.
Ten-year-old Bel Young met the Countess and presented her with a posy after the royal visitor officially opened Leeds Children’s Hospital at Leeds General Infirmary recently.
Bel, who used to attend Moorfield School in Ilkley, has touched the hearts of many Wharfedale people who have staged fundraising events for The Being Bel Trust, set up by Bel’s parents to support her future care.
She spent months being treated at LGI after falling from a climbing frame in a neighbour’s garden in 2010 and breaking her neck, before gradually being allowed to return home near Harrogate several days a week.
The accident left Bel quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator for her breathing.
The Countess of Wessex talked to Bel and other children on her visit to the hospital.
She visited a cystic fibrosis ward and a children’s cancer ward as well as the hospital’s paediatric learning zone before unveiling a plaque, helped by a group of young patients and visitors.
About £30 million has been spent transforming facilities for children at the hospital’s Clarendon Wing.
Leeds Children’s Hospital was formed by combining services at Leeds General Infirmary with services moved from St James’s University Hospital in Leeds.
The facility treats children from across the region and the UK.