Young patient receives dream Heineken Cup Final tickets
This Saturday will be an exciting day for young Cristan and his father as they attend the Heineken Cup final between RC Toulon v Saracens here in Cardiff.
Cristan Nicholas, 15, from Porth, has become a popular face at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital as he has suffered with Cystic Fibrosis since he was a young baby. Cristan was one of the first babies in Wales whose illness was picked up by the heel prick test.
Cristan and father Ceri have been delighted to receive two tickets to the Cup Final after disappointed Munster fan Tom O’Sullivan from Limerick in Ireland got in touch with the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity. Tom decided that as he wouldn’t be attending the game himself, he would instead offer them to a patient at Wales’ national hospital. Tom himself works for his local hospital and couldn’t help but notice the link as their children’s ward is named the Children’s Ark; “what a fantastic link!”
Munster fan Tom’s one request was that the tickets went to a patient as he wanted to share the memories he has himself. Tom said; “I have been to two finals with my beloved Munster and the memories will last a lifetime. Our club motto seems apt with regard to the blessed work of caring for sick children: ‘To the brave and the faithful – nothing is impossible’”
And that is certainly true of Cristan who has seen many complications throughout his fifteen years. When the results of the heel prick test came back the family were called to their local hospital, where they met with all the core staff in the cystic fibrosis team; Cristan’s Dad Ceri recalls; “the staff spent the whole day with us explaining everything, obviously we had so many questions because it was all so new to us.”
Cristan underwent many years of treatment and took the big decision at the age of ten to have a mic-key tube fitted due to his continued weight loss. This allows Cristan to be fed through a gastrostomy feeding tube which makes managing with weight a lot easier for himself, the medical staff and his parents. Dad Ceri has been trained up on treatment for Cristan in order to keep him home as much as possible but he still requires three to four planned visits a year to keep on top of his condition.
Cristan claims despite all the complications his Cystic Fibrosis hasn’t stopped him from doing anything, a student at Treorchy Comprehensive he enjoys free running in his spare time. However with the fitting of the mic-key Cristan did have to give up rugby as it became too much of a risk, so the teenager can’t wait to watch one of the biggest games of the year on Saturday.