Keating and LEGO’s tree-mendous joy


A pop star dropped by to unveil a giant LEGO Christmas tree for the enjoyment of staff, children and families at a children’s hospital near Waterloo.

Everyone was impressed by the unveiling of  the  Christmas tree made entirely of LEGO bricks at Evelina Hospital. Ronan Keating and his wife Storm greeted families at the event before taking a short tour to visit children on dialysis and in the intensive care unit.

The festive tree, featuring 72,432 LEGO bricks, took six model builders a 343 hours to build and weighs 500kg. All at the hospital have been working hard to make hundreds of LEGO decorations which will continue to be added to the tree throughout December.

Luca Ambrosone, 13, has been cared for by Evelina London for almost four years. He is having dialysis while waiting a kidney transplant. Luca and his mum, Sharon, attended the event. Luca said: “When I saw the tree I was just amazed and shocked how long it took to make.

“You could say I’m a big LEGO fan because I’m really into it. I’ve never seen so much LEGO in my life, apart from in my LEGO box at home.

“The best part was getting to build a decoration, I made a sleigh for Father Christmas called Rudolf. It has its own lighting system to scan for good children and naughty children. Good children get what they put on their Christmas list and naughty children automatically get socks.

It also has its own engine and a GPS. I’ve put it on the tree and I’ll visit it every time I come to the hospital in December. Meeting  Ronan and Storm Keating was cool, they were really nice.”

Speaking at the event, the Boyzone singer said: “Storm and I are honoured to have been asked to help support this great campaign. We had our own little boy 8 months ago, which really brings home the stories of the children and families here at Evelina London.

“It’s great to hear that LEGO is the number one requested present for Christmas this year, which is a real achievement given all the other technology that’s around.

“The kids might not recognise me as I’m not in One Direction, but hopefully we can help raise awareness of this great cause.”

Sara Hanna, medical director at Evelina London, thanked all who have made it possible. She said: “It means a lot that LEGO would choose our children’s hospital to launch this excellent campaign, and well done to master builder Duncan for his very impressive work in building the tree.

“For some of us, working over Christmas is part of the job, but for our patients and their families it can be tough to be in hospital during the holidays.

“We expect this to be our busiest Christmas ever, and we are thankful to all our wonderful staff and
play specialists.”

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