POIGNANT PICTURE: Three-year-old Olivia Wall with a photograph of Matt Wood, who died in 2019
POIGNANT PICTURE: Three-year-old Olivia Wall with a photograph of Matt Wood, who died in 2019

A GRIEVING mum has teamed up with the mother of a poorly child to raise cash for the hospital units that supported them during tough times.
Lisa Wood, who lost her son Matt in April 2019, is joining forces with Stacey Wall, whose three-year-old daughter Olivia was born with a serious heart defect. They aim to raise money for Darlington Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit and the Freeman Hospital’s Child Heart Unit Foundation. Matt, who had severe complex needs and epilepsy, was treated at Darlington before he died aged 21, while Olivia has undergone four procedures and open-heart surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Olivia’s mum, Stacey, said: “She was born with pulmonary atresia. Basically, the oxygen in her blood doesn’t go through the heart properly.
“We have been in multiple times to the Freeman for operations. She had open-heart surgery two years ago and her first procedure was when she was five days old. She is still going to need another open-heart surgery operation.”
Olivia attends Cockfield Primary School’s nursery.
Her mum added: “They have been lovely. They really take care of her.”
As for the care Matt received at Darlington Memorial Hospital, Ms Wood said: “They went above and beyond and did everything they could to save Matt’s life. They also looked after myself and Jade [Stacey’s daughter] as well when Matt was in intensive care.”
Now the mothers are to put on a drag show at Cockfield Workingmen’s Club on Friday, February 18, 2022, featuring the renowned Tess Tickle and the Dragettes.
The event, which starts at 7pm, will also include a disco and raffle. A major star at the drag show will be little Olivia herself. Ms Wall said: “Olivia has already been practising because she will be doing the announcing.
“She loves to sing and dance and if you get her started on Frozen you will never get her to stop. She is really sassy.”
Ms Wood added: “She’s three going on 33.”
Tickets, which are selling fast, cost £15. For bookings contact Lisa Wood on 07857 175596 or Stacey Wall on 07821 107214.