Wollaston teenager granted wish by Make-A-Wish UK

16-year-old Hattie, from Stourbridge, was granted her wish for ‘a shopping spree in London’ thanks to the UK children’s charity Make-A-Wish UK. 

Becoming critically ill with a bowel condition aged 10 felt like 'the end of childhood’ for Hattie but the experience, featuring a surprise appearance from Tobi and Simon of YouTube group, The Sidemen, made Hattie feel ‘validated’, saying ‘I will never forget it’.  

In 2016, 10-year-old Hattie contracted shingles, which resulted in a series of complications - including nerve damage to her digestive system which has caused a life-long bowel condition.

‘She couldn’t eat,’ remembered Hattie’s Dad Nigel, 50. ‘She was confused and in a lot of pain. It was like the end of her childhood – she was forced to grow up immediately.’ 

Hattie’s life was taken over by her condition, which must be managed daily. Hattie said: 

“I have to plan whole days around my condition - it’s isolating. I missed my sister a lot, I missed my Dad and it was frustrating - I felt very lonely.

“I wish people had more of an awareness of invisible illnesses, because they are so real. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities.”

Tragedy struck once again in 2019 with the death of Hattie and Martha’s mother, who had been by Hattie’s side throughout gruelling years of treatment. Russell’s Hall Hospital gastrointestinal nurse, Jemima Saunders, supported Hattie throughout her grief. Hattie added: 

“She’s genuinely changed my life. She’s been my voice. When everyone was going prom dress shopping with their Mums, Jemima took me prom dress shopping. She’s an amazing woman.”

It was Jemima that referred Hattie to Make-A-Wish UK, a charity which grants life changing wishes to critically ill children, in May 2022. 

Hattie has spent months on end in hospital, causing her to miss school and normal teenage activities like shopping with her sister and best friend, Martha. Hattie’s wish for ‘a shopping spree in London’ was inspired by her determination to defy the constraints of her condition, allowing her to be a ‘normal teenager’ despite extraordinary challenges.  

On the 2nd of December, Hattie, Martha and dad Nigel made the trip from their home in Wollaston to London. The first stop was a trip to Kick Game in Covent Garden for a private shopping experience - with an extra special surprise appearance from Tobi and Simon of the Sidemen. Hatties Dad, Nigel, said:

“The wish ended up being bigger than we imagined to be. Tobi and Simon were brilliant and Kick Game were incredible.

“It was brilliant to see her so happy after such a long journey. It made me very proud – and it certainly would’ve made Hattie’s Mum proud, too.” 

Tobi and Simon helped Hattie and Martha pick out a selection of shoes; including pairs for Nigel and Hattie’s nurse, Jemima. The footwear was generously donated by the store who have also matched the same amount in a cash donation to Make-A-Wish UK.

Hattie’s visit to the store was featured as part of Kick Game’s Christmas campaign, with a special ‘Shopping for Sneakers’ video going live on the Kick Game YouTube channel on Christmas Day.

All proceeds from the video will be donated to Make-A-Wish, with viewers encouraged to donate alongside Sidemen stars Tobi and Simon.

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