Seven-year-old Ethan Lights up DGRI with Christmas Cheer

A YOUNG boy who views Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary as his second home has turned on the hospital’s Christmas tree lights.

Seven-year-old Ethan Smith, from Dumfries, who lives with cystic fibrosis, was asked to push the button which lit the giant tree in front of the district general hospital on Friday afternoon.

Mum Montana Stewart said: “Ethan has been a regular patient at the children’s ward since he’s been born – so for the last seven years, because he lives with cystic fibrosis, a lung condition which was diagnosed at birth.
“So when we come here, it’s like having a second family. Everybody’s really nice to us, and we’ve got a really close connection with the staff on the children’s ward.”
Montana added: “He was the only child who cried sad tears when the old hospital closed, because it was like a second home to him.
“And when he had to come to the new one, he wanted to stay at the old hospital.
“But just recently he’s been taken off his IV antibiotics because he’s getting better, so we’d been telling him, ‘You’re better now, you don’t need to come as often’. But he really wanted to stay.’

Children’s Ward Senior Charge Nurse Kirstine Burns introduced Ethan at Friday’s lights switch-on

Kirstine said: “Although we had a tree up in front of the new hospital last year, we didn’t actually have a lights switch-on.
“We were delighted that Ethan said he would perform the duties, and he did a terrific job; it was a really special event.
“We’re also really grateful to Serco, who manage aspects of the hospital estate, for helping to organise the event and quickly creating the button which Ethan pushed to light the tree.”

Ethan was jumping with excitement as he pushed the button, wishing everyone present a Merry Christmas.

And asked to deliver his verdict on the tree and its colourful light, the Heathhall Primary Pupil had just one word to describe it – “Awesome”.

To view a video of Ethan switching on the tree, visit https://bit.ly/2E9vL6h