The children in hospital at Christmas

It is not youngsters' ideal place to spend Christmas, but staff at the city's flagship hospital are gearing up to make the day extra special for the poorly children too ill to go home.

Staff at the Jenny Lind Children's Department at the Norfolk and Norfolk University Hospital try to do everything they can to make Christmas Day enjoyable for the children and families in hospital on December 25.

Last year, the Buxton Ward in the department looked after 15 young patients on Christmas Day.

Emma Dolman, ward sister, said: 'It's open visiting so that any family members can come and go and we try to keep it as family orientated as possible.

'Chistmas dinner is served and a chef brings up and carves the turkey on the ward.

'Most of the patients tend to be on the younger side and babies, so it's really the families that suffer on the day and we try to make it as relaxed for them as possible.'

Young mum Miranda Taylor will be waking up on Buxton Ward on Christmas Day with her seven-month-old son Archie, who has a stoma, and needs to be fed intravenously.

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Miranda, 19, gave birth to Archie prematurely at 28 weeks and five days and he weighed just 1lb 7oz.

The first four months of his life were spent in neo-natal intensive care units, and for the past three months he has been at the children's ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich. However, doctors at the hospital are hoping that he will be able to go home on Christmas Day, if only for a few hours.

Miranda, from Woodbridge, Suffolk, said: 'Archie's a very happy baby. It's really sweet how happy he is. He was born in Addenbrooke's and they said that if he survived the birth he probably wouldn't survive the first few days. On two occasions they told us it looked like he wasn't going to make it. It's been quite hard, but he's worth it.'