'Micky wanted to make other people happy': Christmas presents delivered to hospitals in memory of 12-year-old
PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 December 2019
The parents of a schoolboy who died from leukaemia have raised thousands of pounds in his memory to treat children in hospital over Christmas.
Micky Bennett, who was originally from Dagenham, was just 12 when he lost his battle with cancer in April 2019.
Despite spending last Christmas in isolation at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), he raised £5,000 to buy presents for other children spending the festive period in hospital - something which his parents Lisa and Dave were keen to do again in their son's memory.
Lisa, 41, said: "It felt right for us to complete Micky's wish list and deliver smiles to children in hospital over Christmas. It's also helped to keep us sane.
"I've been involved with charities all my life and my kids have got into it too. All Micky wanted to do was to make other people happy."
She added: "Although he sounds like an angel, he was a cheeky chap too. Even when he was dying he was making jokes at his nurses' expense. Everyone loved him, he was an old soul."
The couple, who now live in Basildon, teamed up with the Lennox Children's Cancer Fund to raise £9,000 in just a few weeks.
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That money has been used to provide presents to children at hospitals including GOSH and Queen's Hospital in Romford.
Lisa thanked staff at Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs Queen's, for their support during Micky's illness - with particular praise for children's oncology clinical nurse Laura May.
She said: "The staff go above and beyond. I wouldn't have got through it without them.
"Laura came in on her birthday and helped me during the worst bit of my life, now she's like family."
Mum-of-four Lisa also told how her son's cheeky nature lives on in the dog the 12-year-old insisted the family bought shortly before his death.
"He knew I always wanted a dog and was going to get one when all my children left home," she said.
"So, when he knew he was dying, he insisted we got a dog, a British Bulldog he named Boss Bennett.
"I thought a bulldog would be a good dog, but he's just as cheeky as Micky was. I think he knew what he was doing - he got us a dog that's turned out to be a right character!"