Pier going green for Ernie

  • 27 January, 2020
  • In the community


Clacton Pier is supporting a fundraising drive for the family of an
18-month-old toddler who needs an urgent life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Little Ernie Toms is being admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital
tomorrow (Jan 28) where he will receive intensive chemotherapy to prepare him
for the operation.

The transplant is scheduled for next week and the 18-month-old will
remain in hospital for up to three months.

He will then need to be isolated at home so his immune system can develop.

Ernie’s parents Lionel and Charlotte contacted the Pier last week to see
if it would turn its lighting green – the colour of the transplant ribbon – to
raise awareness of his situation and support their fundraising efforts.

Communications Manager Nigel Brown said the landmark was more than happy
to oblige and back the family who live in Clacton.

“We will be going green tonight and for the rest of this week and hope the
town will get behind this family at this very difficult time,” he said.

“They need all the help they can get, and we want them to know they are
not alone, and people will be thinking of them and little Ernie.

“We also look forward to welcoming the whole family to the Pier when
they are ready for a special day out, hopefully this summer.”

Ernie suffers from Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome and needs the operation as
his body is now starting to attack his own blood cells.

His brother Reg, who is three, went through the same operation as he
suffers from the condition and is still currently in recovery.

Reg’s donor match was found in Germany while Ernie’s donor was found in

Mr Toms, who manages FC Clacton Reserves, said that Reg was diagnosed
the day after his first birthday and Charlotte was at that time pregnant with

They knew there was a 50 per cent chance he would also have the
condition if he was a boy.  Ernie was
born at 39 weeks and tests confirmed the couple’s worst fears.

“It is tough to take but we just have to do what we have to do,” added
Mr Toms. “We also have an older son George, who is seven, and it is a juggling
act to make sure we do our very best for all three of them.”

Mr Toms had to give up his job as general manager of a restaurant and
Charlotte left her role as a social worker so they could concentrate on their

They have set up a GoFundMe page, #ernietomsknockingoutwiskottaldrich,
to help them
meet travelling costs and other expenses over the coming months.

Toms said: “We are so grateful for the support we had when we went through Reg’s
transplant and we are now faced with a similar situation.”

https://www.gofundme.com/f/1vlqtq1ceo?utm_medium=social&utm_source=whatsapp&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=01b807a91a0f45829210ccb82ef23060 to donate



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