Knitted tonsil goes on round-the-world charity adventure
PUBLISHED: 15:15 20 October 2010
A lumpy, swollen tonsil is the last thing in the world you would expect to be looking forward to receiving in the post.
But this cheery knitted children’s character is as friendly as they come – he’s got a top hat, a passport and nearly 50 friends to meet.
And Mr Tonsilpus is jetting off to Australia for his first date on a world tour to raise cash for charity.
Lottie Lindsay, 21, is a second-year medical student at the University of East Anglia, and decided to volunteer with the London ambulance service during the summer break from her studies.
“I was shadowing a paramedic called Stuart Gray and we took a patient to hospital who had really nasty tonsilitis,” she said.
“On the way Stuart drew a little character on his pad – a little bumpy tonsil with a little hat made out of pus – and that night I went home and decided to see if I could knit one.
“I brought it in the next day and immediately he knew what it was, and we decided to name it Mr Tonsilpus.”
Mr Gray, a published author and well-known blogger, posted a picture of Mr Tonsilpus on his blog and was inundated with requests for visits from the knitted creation.
The pair decided to let him go off on a round-the-world adventure in exchange for donations to the London Air Ambulance, where he had his picture taken for the first time.
He has raised £110 so far towards their long-term target of £5,000. “I wanted to raise money to help give something back to the air ambulance,” said Miss Lindsay, who lives in Round House Park, Cringleford, and is currently doing a work placement with a GP in Bungay.
“I got the chance to work closely with them and see what they do in London, and without them a lot of people would be very much worse off.”
So far more than 40 people have requested Mr Tonsilpus as a guest, and he has been on an extended tour of the UK and is currently in Wales.
“He’s coming back to Norwich for a few days and then heading off to Stansted airport,” said Miss Lindsay. “We’re going to take some pictures of him with the planes and then he will be going all over the world.”
He has been invited to visit Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, and offered a place on a trip around Europe.
But his travels are not good news for everyone – he is leaving behind a wife, Mrs Tonsilpus, knitted by Miss Lindsay after the unexpected interest in her first creation.
Mrs Tonsilpus has a white bra instead of a hat, and Miss Lindsay said she would be staying in Norwich, but might start going out on the town to pass the time until her husband comes back from his travels.
She is also considering creating babies for the couple as part of a line of merchandise based on her idea, and Mr Gray is working on creating a website and blog for Mr Tonsilpus’ round-the-world-adventure.
If you would like to request a visit from Mr Tonsilpus email email@example.com, or to donate to the cause visit www.justgiving.com/tonsilpus
Are you doing something unusual for charity? Contact Evening News reporter Mary Hamilton on 01603 772418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.