Exeter mum thanks RD&E Hospital for 22-month-old son’s care with funds to help other families

An Exeter mum has smashed her fundraising target to raise £2,000 to thank a hospital ward which has cared for her baby son all of his life.

Melanie Pick’s 22-month-old son, Will, has rare, genetic, disease Pallister Hall syndrome, which means he suffers from seizures, breathing difficulties and other complications, resulting in 13 hospital admissions since he was born, including both Christmases and his first birthday.

Determined to give something back to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E), and Bramble Ward, while helping other families of children needing its care, Melanie has fundraised for the Starfish Appeal, by setting herself cycling and running challenges.

Until the coronavirus cancelled all public events and large gatherings, Melanie and her friends had been set to enter the Exmoor Wimbleball half triathlon, in July, swimming 1.2 miles, cycling 56 miles and running 13.1 miles.

Instead she cycled 56 miles and ran 14 miles, personally raising £2,000 for the Starfish Appeal, which needs £450,000 to enhance children’s services and outpatient waiting areas at the RD&E.


Melanie Pick’s 22-month-old son, Will, was born with Pallister Hall syndrome, a rare genetic disease which means that he suffers from seizures, breathing difficulties and other complications.

Melanie’s friends, who have completed their own challenges, brought the total to £5,300, added to £1,000 donated by Lloyds Bank.

Their efforts have been supported by donations made through a JustGiving page.

Mum-of-three Melanie said: “We feel very blessed as Will is the happiest little boy and we have been surrounded and supported by the most amazing nurses, doctors and consultants.

“We wanted to raise funds to give something back to the ward through the Starfish Appeal and help them to support even more families.”

Ian Roome, head of fundraising at the RD&E Charity, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Melanie and her friends for the impressive amount of money they have raised.

“The money raised will go towards our Starfish Appeal and will make a real difference to the children and young people who use our services.”


Baby Will cheering his mum, Melanie, on.

To support to Melanie’s fundraising, see her JustGiving page here.

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