YOUNG patients were in pole position after they were invited to be Bernie Ecclestone’s special guests at the British Grand Prix.
Luke Vincent, ten, Joshua Hicks, nine, and Mitchell Eley, 17, all from Wickford, rubbed shoulders with F1 stars like Daniel Ricciardo.
They even got to see our own Lewis Hamilton, whowent on to win the race.
The youngsters are being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the day was organised as a special treat.
Luke has been under the hospital’s care since March due to a narrowing of his left ureter.
This caused Luke’s left kidney to become very dilated, resulting in a condition where one or both kidneys become stretched and swollen which has impaired the kidneys’ function.
Luke, who has since had surgery, watched the qualifying – and loved it.
Mum Lorraine Vincent said: “Luke was so excited to see what happens behind the scenes and meet some of his Formula 1 heroes. As a family, we all feel Luke’s care and treatment at the hospital can be likened to an F1 pitstop – he was diagnosed and treated quickly, professionally and with great care.”
Joshua has been treated at the hospital since he was 14 hours old and spent his first two weeks in intensive care, unable to breathe because of problems with his organs.
Josh, still a regular visitor to the hospital, even bumped into Sebastian Vettel in the F1 paddock.
Mum Nina Hicks said: “We are extremely grateful to the hospital and the staff because we feel if it wasn’t for their knowledge and experience, Josh may never have pulled through his first weeks.”
Mitchell, who attends South East Essex College, has been treated at the hospital since 1996 for craniofacial syndrome.
It’s when the skull bones of a baby’s head don’t fuse together at the right time, or in the right way.
This is extremely serious, as the brain can become damaged if the skull does not allow the baby’s head to expand at the proper rate.
During the day at Silverstone, Mitchell watched the practice sessions and met Lewis and former F1 champion, Brit Damon Hill.
Mitchell said: “It is hard to put into words what I would like to say about Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“But I would like to say thank you to my surgeon, Mr Hayward, for making me so perfect and helping me see and learn the battles all the children face.
“All the staff make you and your family feel at ease and special.
Thanks the hospital for making me the person I am today.”