When Addenbrooke’s Hospital wanted someone special to open an outdoor activity area for child patients they chose Maisie Goody.
Five-year-old Maisie, from Red Lodge, opened the new Jungle Trail at the Cambridge hospital which was created with the support of the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT).
A hospital spokesman said: “Maisie was chosen to open the Jungle Trail because she had been an inpatient for several weeks and has been such a brave little girl.”
Maisie’s mum Kirsty agreed: “She’s had a very tough time but she’s got a real smile and has been very brave.”
Since April, Maisie has been being treated at West Suffolk and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals for a mystery metabolic condition. She has had surgery to install devices to ease administering the constant drugs and blood tests she needs.
She recently had tubes installed to her stomach because the condition means she cannot go more than six hours without food, so she can now be fed through the tubes during the night.
Kirsty said: “It’s very difficult, very frustrating, but you know they’re doing things in the background and once we have a diagnosis they’ll know how to control it.”
The Jungle Trail idea is for children to search for animal prints in the Diamond Jubilee Garden at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and nearby Rosie Garden.
The prints are attached to the top of short posts for the benefit of wheelchair users and there is a range of other tasks to solve, such as drawing fossils and identifying animals carved in a bench.
A section in the trail booklet allows therapists to set patients challenges relevant to their condition and any child who completes the whole trail can collect a certificate.
Kirsty said: “It gives you a chance to get out and get some fresh air and meet people.
“We can also do it as a family, so at weekends we can take her little brother in and explore together.”