A BARNSLEY teenager who was in and out of Barnsley Hospital’s children’s ward until she was five has decided to kick-start a fundraising campaign to give back to those who supported her - and her college tutor has chipped in to support her efforts.

Chloe Pearson, 16, spent a large portion of her younger years in the children’s ward at the Gawber Road site after facing a number of illnesses growing up.

She was suffering with jaundice and had seizures before doctors eventually diagnosed her with benign paroxysmal torticollis - a rare disorder characterised by episodes of head tilt which causes a child to hold their head or neck in a twisted or otherwise abnormal position.

Chloe said she was grateful for the staff who supported her during her five-year stint at the hospital, and she wants to give back to them.

She told the Chronicle: “As a chronically ill person I would like to say it is donations like this that made me live my life how I have.

“When I was younger and as a child I was very ill and spent most of my time in hospital due to multiple conditions that were not only harsh on me but on my parents too.

“The children’s ward got so used to me most the nurses there knew me and my family off by heart.

“Coming from someone who has been in the situation of these children I hope this money can be made to support them medically or provide toys or entertainment for them when they have to stay in the hospital.”

Her fundraising campaign started as a bet with her college tutor, Lee Barber, who said he would shave off his beard if Chloe was able to raise a certain amount of money.

Although a joke at first, she’s now determined to raise as much money as possible for the ward - and she’s gearing up for a raffle as well as a bake sale at Barnsley College.

“I made a bit with my teacher that he wouldn’t shave his beard,” she said.

“We agreed that if I manage to raise at least £300 for the children’s ward at Barnsley Hospital he will shave his beard and on college TV.

“I’ve now made posters and I’ve had some donations of a Boeing 737 simulator, as well as vouchers for places like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

“Even if we don’t raise £300 I am still giving all the money raised to the hospital.

“It does not matter if we don’t get our teacher to shave his beard, the children matter the most.”

Lee, a digital and creative industries lecturer, added: “What started as a question from a student regarding whether I’d ever shave my beard off, has turned into a fundraiser for me to remove my beloved beard from my face.

“We’ve tasked Chloe the job of getting £300 in the pot before her final major project deadline.

“She’s a great student, and for some reason, wants to see me suffer live on the student TV channel.

“All the money will be going straight to the Barnsley Hospital Charity, a fantastic organisation that I’m proud to support.”

Chloe added that any money she raises will give the children a chance to be happy and feel safe like she did.

“I felt like I was fighting to endure life day in and day out,” she said.

“The generosity of complete strangers gave me a foothold to hold my head above the water.

“I would like to pass this on, give others the chance to feel happy and safe like I did.

“I want to make sure people know they are not alone and that sometimes all we need to do is help each other out.”

A link to the fundraiser can be found on the Barnsley Chronicle website.