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Gaming gift will help brighten hospital stay for young patients undergoing chemotherapy

Young patients at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust are to benefit from the legacy of a teenage sports fan who died from cancer.

Two Xbox gaming carts have been donated to Ward 16 at University Hospital to help keep children entertained during their stay.

The gifts have come from Raising the Hopes of Young Stars (RHYS), a not-for-profit organisation set up in memory of Rhys Cowen, who sadly passed away in 2020 aged 13.

Kate Norton, Macmillan Trainee Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Paediatric Oncology at UHCW, said: “We are very thankful for this wonderful donation.

“When Rhys was a patient he enjoyed spending time out of his room in the evenings, moving to the Paediatric Medical Day Unit and playing on the consoles.

“Xbox is very popular with patients and anything that distracts from the boredom of hospital and the side effects of chemotherapy will be hugely beneficial.”

Coventry City fan Rhys was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer which forms in soft tissue, as a 12-year-old in May 2019.

Over the ensuing months he battled the cancer, undertaking chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Rhys, who played American Football, enjoyed watching Liverpool FC on TV and made a trip to Anfield in 2020 to see his idols play.

That great day out inspired him to want to give children and families who had been affected by cancer a memorable day out or experience.

Rhys’s father David and mother Charlene, who both work for Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, visited UHCW with 14-year-old son Aaron to make the donation.

David said: “Rhys was an incredibly brave and selfless boy. When he knew there was nothing else that could be done and he was going to die, he told me he wanted me to raise money for children and families in similar situations.

“Throughout chemotherapy, and short stays in UHCW, he liked playing on the old Xbox and games to break the boredom.

“On behalf of RHYS and all that have donated to our fundraising events, we are delighted to supply these bespoke gaming carts to the UHCW Children’s Ward.”

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