Wonderland charity ball in memory of St Albans toddler who had sepsis
PUBLISHED: 17:13 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:30 31 August 2017
Everyone is invited to a wonderland charity ball hosted by a Harpenden dad in memory of his baby son who passed away from fatal blood poisoning.
Stephen Reader is organising the second annual Tyler Reader Charity Ball to help raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital, where his son, Tyler, was treated.
Tyler passed away at only 34-months-old after developing what appeared to be a normal chest infection and sore throat, but turned out to be sepsis.
He was put into a medically induced coma, suffered six cardiac arrests in eight hours, and eventually passed away before a heart-lung bypass could be performed.
Last year’s black tie ball raised a whooping £22,000, and Stephen hopes to replicate and improve upon its success this year.
Money will help provide Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Children’s Acute Transport Service with equipment and training needed to help severe cases of sepsis like Tyler’s. Stephen is climbing towards a fund raising target of £79,000 to achieve that goal.
He said: “Really the ball is a great excuse to get dressed up that isn’t a wedding, and last year we found that everyone had such a great time, everyone enjoyed themselves for such a great cause.
“We would love everyone to come along and support the community - there will be lots of St Albans and Harpenden residents and businesses there too.” TV celebrity Charles Hanson will be presenting a live auction, the chief executive of The UK Sepsis Trust Ron Daniels will be giving a speech, gymnasts will provide entertainment, and there will be a three course meal.
There will also be fund raising games throughout the night and on-theme Alice in Wonderland characters dotted around.
Last year, Stephen described the event as a “fine balance of sadness, hurt, joy and celebration as people honoured Tyler’s memory by raising an incredible amount”.
Beneficiaries of the ball are Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the UK Sepsis Trust.