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Little Elle's date with Hollywood star Catherine

Jun 21 2006

By South Wales Echo

 

When little Elle Mayor was taken into hospital she had no idea she would be visited by two of Hollywood's biggest stars.

The youngster, from Penmaen Walk, Cardiff, was admitted into the city's new children's hospital on Monday after she developed a rash and high temperature.

She was then left speechless when actress Catherine Zeta Jones and her husband called in yesterday on a visit to officially open the first phase of the hospital.

Dad Jason, 35, a chartered quantity surveyor, who was with Elle and mum Sophie, 35, when Catherine presented her with a balloon, said: 'I think Elle was a bit overwhelmed by it all.

'It was quite a shock when she was rushed in so we didn't know Catherine and Michael were coming until that morning.

'Catherine asked Elle if she liked balloons, the magician made a penguin for her as she likes Pingu and Catherine put the beak on and gave it to her.

'They were very good, really genuine people and Catherine has still got her Welsh accent.

'Michael came over and shook my hand and introduced himself to me which was quite funny as they are two of the biggest film stars.

'I don't think Elle will remember when she's older but we'll tell her and her sister Olivia, who's five.'

Catherine, patron of the Noah's Ark Appeal which raises funds for the hospital, and Michael donated a five-figure sum to the appeal last year, talked to patients on a tour of the wards and unveiled a plaque.

'I'm very proud we now have our dedicated children's hospital in Wales,' said Catherine who added the campaigning must continue towards the next phase of the £21m unit.

'This is just the beginning,' she said.

'We have a lot more work to do and more campaigning to do.'

The couple were also treated to singing and dancing by children from Rhydypenau Primary School, in Cyncoed, Cardiff, who laid the foundation stone for the hospital.

Sophie Perrington, 10, said: 'We really enjoyed singing in front of so many important people the best bit was singing for Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.'

Beth Davies, eight, who was one of the folk dancers, said: 'It was really exciting dancing.'

Isabella Collins, 11, who was part of the choir that sang Whistle Down The Wind and Flying Free, said: 'We really enjoyed singing our songs.

'Mrs Davies chose them especially for the occasion.'

Carolyn Evans, headteacher at the primary school, said: 'The children performed exceptionally well.

'It was very appropriate that our children should be present.

'We felt it was a great privilege to be invited back.'

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