London, United Kingdom (CU)_ When the Queen visited the Oxford Children’s Hospital in 2008, it was an active day for the hospital staff and patients. The facility, a unit of the John Radcliffe Hospital campus in Headington, was already open, after the Oxford Mail’s support of a significant fundraising campaign. However, Her Majesty desired to officially inaugurate the new West Wing, which includes the children’s hospital, by opening a plaque and speaking with hospital workers and patients.
Libby, a student from Bartholomew School in Eynsham, was selected to present the Queen with a bouquet of flowers for the ceremonial inauguration of the £135 million West Wing. Ahead of the presentation, Libby, from Standlake, near Witney, stated, “I feel nervous but excited to be meeting the Queen.” Six months after being informed that her bone cancer was in remission, 12-year-old Libby Turner made a special return.
Among the patients and personnel who greeted the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, were Libby and her parents. Libby’s parents, mother Rebecca Turner, 46, a matron in the West Wing’s specialized surgical unit, and father Mark Turner, 49, introduced Libby to the Queen. According to Mrs Turner, “Libby has been in remission for six months, and for the past year I have been working here and virtually living here. The staff here are brilliant and the facilities are brilliant – the resources are exceptional.”
The Queen visited Kamran’s Ward and interacted with staff and child patients, including Duckworth Amavih-Mensah, 7, from Milton Keynes. According to his mother Mabel, “He was diagnosed with leukemia in January, so he has been having chemotherapy. He was very excited to meet the Queen and wanted to know where her crown was.” The West Wing and the children’s hospital began operations in January 2007. However, the official inauguration of the new wing was delayed due to the Queen’s visit.
The £30 million children’s hospital obtained its £15 million funds from the NHS and the balance of funds from the community with the assistance of an Oxford Mail campaign. The Duke of Edinburgh toured the West Wing’s integrated operating rooms, where he saw the new operating theater technology for adult surgery.