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Oli Patto
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Start Your Engines, Please!

By Published February 18, 2019

THE children’s wards at both The James Cook University Hospital and Friarage Hospital now have a fleet of five electric cars. 

Children can use the cars to get to theatres or x-ray, helping to ease any anxieties and make their hospital stay as comfortable as possible. 

The miniature vehicles are controlled by the children, but can be over ridden by an adult with a remote control – meaning they are in complete control at all times. 

Cathy Brammer, matron for neonates, children and young people said; “We are really grateful to people for donating the cars. We started with one and now have a fleet. 

“It’s lovely to be able to see children happy on the way to surgery instead of being anxious.”

The first car to arrive was a mini Tesla donated by Danny Plummer, a member of Tesla Owners Group UK – who have donated over 150 cars to wards around the country. 

Another was donated by a generous anonymous member of the public, who handed it in to the children’s ward at James Cook. 

But the biggest donation came from fundraiser Justin Henderson, 43, from Catterick Garrison who saw how great the cars were and donated three more with funds he had raised for South Tees Hospitals Charity! 

Justin is a former postal courier in The Royal Logistics Corps. In 2012 while stationed in Germany a freak accident left him wheelchair bound with a broken back and limited mobility. He has since had a vertebra replaced with a prosthetic lower spine. 

He has already started an ambitious drive to take part in 12 challenges in 12 months, including cycling 200 miles on a recumbent trike and running 100 miles on an anti-gravity treadmill. 

The cars have proven to be really popular with children of all ages, and there are now smiles all round on the way to theatre (beep beep!) 

Acting ward manager, Maxine Stephens said: “It certainly brightens their trips to theatre. The children love it, and it makes quite a daunting journey quite a bright one.”


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