Betty is ‘guardian angel’ for leaving £850,000 to Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Amber Whiston, who will benefit from the new scanner, and her mum Lara Joyce
Amber Whiston, who will benefit from the new scanner, and her mum Lara Joyce

Grateful residents have united to thank a kind widow who left £850,000 to Sheffield Children’s Hospital in her will.

Comments have been flooding in from readers, full of praise for Betty Alsop’s generous £854,273 donation.

Betty, who died in September 2014 and was a member of St Luke’s Church in Lodge Moor, had no children or family to leave her estate to. Her husband James died one year before her.

Her legacy has enabled hospital bosses to buy a £2.3 million state-of-the art MRI scanner, which will improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions, including brain tumours.

On Facebook, Vikki Biggin said: “I had the pleasure of knowing this very kind lady. My mum, who spent a lot of time with her in her last few years, will be happy that her money has gone to a good use.”

Lisa Briggs said: “We all have guardian angels, she must have been the one for children everywhere. How special she is, I wish I could have met her.”

Lara Frances Joyce, pictured right with her daughter and children’s hospital patient Amber Whiston, said: “We are so grateful to all the efforts of everyone who supports the children’s hospital.”

Six-year-old Amber, from Woodseats, was diagnosed with a brain tumour at eight months old and will benefit from the scanner. The device is used on children undergoing operations to enable surgeons to remove complete tumours – improving their chances of survival and avoiding the need for further operations.

Reader Ian Plant called Betty an ‘angel in disguise’ and added: “What a great gesture.”

Stacy Clements said: “What a lovely thing to do. We are so lucky to have this hospital in Sheffield.”

Lisa Hutton said: “Amazing lady, thank you, and may you fly high with your well deserved angel wings.”

Natasha Lowis said Betty had given an ‘amazing gift’ to the people of Sheffield.

Jacqueline Swallow said: “The money couldn’t have gone to a better cause.”

Rose Marie Donnelly added: “That is amazing. The Children’s Hospital is fantastic. I spent a lot of time from birth to being 16 in that hospital.”

Ryan Damms summed up the thoughts of many by saying: “ Wow, very nice of her.”

Betty, formerly of Rochester Drive, Crosspool, also left money to a number of other charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the NSPCC and Edale Mountain Rescue.