Mum whose daughter's life was saved after outpouring of kindness wants to 'pay it forward'
'It is truly humbling to see how kind people can be'
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A grateful Sunderland mum has started a 'pay it forward' group to say thank you after her daughter's life was saved.
Cheryl Archbold has set up Bea's 500 Crew - named after her two-year-old Wearside daughter Beatrix who is doing well after a heart transplant.
Members of Bea's 500 Crew pay money into a pot to help people in need and it is already making a difference;
Returning the love shown to her daughter
A little boy who is terminally ill was given an early birthday party;
And another sum went to two brothers whose holiday money was stolen.
Cheryl wanted to make a difference after her family got so much support while Beatrix was in hospital.
Cheryl said: "When I was in hospital I saw the very best of humanity and saw many many acts of kindness. Much of this from strangers."
Those people helped others without any thought of being thanked, without ego and from a place of love.
"They made a rota and so for for the entire 15 months, we were provided with a delivered home cooked meal that just needed to be warmed up," said Cheryl.
'The pinnacle was Beatrix's gift of life'
"It is truly humbling to see how kind people can be. And the pinnacle of that is Beatrix's gift of a new heart.
"In a world where it feels like nothing is free. Someone, a stranger who's name we might never know, said yes to the ultimate gift. A chance of life."
Cheryl was already a member of a similar group called Friends 500 based in Merseyside.
"When we were discharged from hospital, I immediately knew that I wanted to replicate the group in the North East."
The group will eventually have 500 members who pay £1 into a pot each week.
A gift to a little boy on end-of-life care
" The members can at any time make a nomination if they know of someone in need," said Cheryl. "That week's money will go to that person or buy/fund whatever they need.
"The money can be used for all sorts, a suit for an interview, replacing tyres on a car, buying a school uniform etc.
"So far it's a very new group but we have managed in less than a month to send £200 to a young couple with a very premature baby in the RVI to help with hospital expenses
"We also paid £170 to bring forward a birthday party for a little boy on end of life care.
Determined to help others
"And £60 to two brothers to buy something as a treat when their pocket money was stolen out of their safe on holiday.
"We've about 130 members so far and I'm just so excited to see where it takes us."
Beatrix’s own story unfolded in May 2022.
She had stopped drinking, had a rash on her neck and the family dialled 111.
After going to A&E, a doctor at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead detected a heart murmur. Tests showed one side of her heart was enlarged and not functioning properly.
She had an operation to fit a line into her body so she could receive medication but she had a cardiac arrest and was saved by expert surgeons at the Freeman Hospital who performed open heart surgery.Beatrix then spent 14 months at the Freeman before she and her family's lives were changed once more in June this year.
She walked off the ward to a guard of honour
Beatrix replied by holding her cuddly toy and saying she was going to 'be better'.
Staff at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle lined the ward and cheered as Beatrix slowly walked past, hand in hand with relatives.
Now her parents wants to pass on all that love through the new group which is open for people to join.
Find out more about Bea's 500 Crew here.