June 2015

News


June news

29/06/15: Mum supports charity's Birth Centre Appeal to thank hospital for support

Denise with her family cropDenise Speller will forever be grateful to the team at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital.

The 47-year-old had serious medical complications when her children, now aged 16, 13, and eight, were born at the West London hospital.

She believes the outcome wouldn’t have been as positive anywhere else, which is why Denise and her husband Evan are supporting Imperial College Healthcare Charity’s £500,000 Birth Centre Appeal to remodel and expand the existing birth centre there.

“The staff at Queen Charlotte’s are fantastic – lifesaving,” said Denise, who lives in Chiswick.

“They’re very kind, committed and dedicated. I wouldn’t have had such a positive outcome if I had been at any other hospital. It would be a completely different story.”

Denise was referred to Queen Charlotte’s before she became pregnant with her first child as she had high blood pressure.

She was then monitored when she became pregnant and spent a lot of her pregnancy at Queen Charlotte’s as she was so unwell.

Her daughter, Fleur, was born by emergency caesarean but Denise needed further treatment from the team after the birth.

When Denise became pregnant again two years later, the pregnancy went smoothly. She was monitored by the hospital as a precaution and Andre was born by elective caesarean.

But when her third child, Aidan, was born prematurely by caesarean, Denise had a stroke just a couple of days later.

“After Aidan was born I was really out of character and was really rude to everyone. One of the midwives noticed and said I shouldn’t be left on my own. I collapsed in the toilets at the hospital but luckily someone was in there,” she said.

“I remember being rushed into the lift. One of the nurses put a towel over my face and I was taken straight to intensive care. They reacted so quickly from the time I collapsed and I think that’s why I recovered so well.”

Denise hopes her story will encourage people to donate to the Birth Centre Appeal in support of the staff at Queen Charlotte’s.

Money raised will be used to create a new birth room and birthing pool, new antenatal consultation rooms, and to install air into every birth room for resuscitation cabinets.

The appeal is being run by Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which raises funds for the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, including Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea.

Evan, 55, said: “The staff at Queen Charlotte’s are amazing. I always felt Denise and our children were in a safe, comfortable and professional environment.

“When Denise needed to stay there, especially after she had the stroke, I knew she was going to be alright.”

Denise and Evan want to thank everyone at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital who has supported them, particularly consultant obstetrician Andrew McCarthy and healthcare assistant Elaine.

Denise is so grateful to the hospital that she now volunteers at Imperial College Healthcare Charity.

You can support the Birth Centre Appeal online by clicking here, by texting BORN16 £10 to 70070, or by sending a cheque made payable to Imperial College Healthcare Charity (4406) to Imperial College Healthcare Charity, Ground Floor, Clarence Memorial Wing, St Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street, London, W2 1NY.

29/06/15: Meningitis survivor raises money to thank hospital for lifesaving treatment

Millie and Lesharn selfieA mum has raised funds for charity to thank the hospital that saved her life.

Melissa Sadler, known as Millie, of West Kensington, spent two weeks at Charing Cross Hospital after contracting meningitis in June 2013.

She made a full recovery and held a bake sale and raffle where she works, at Specsavers in Hammersmith, on Saturday to thank the medical team.

The event raised funds for Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which raises money for the five hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, including Charing Cross.

“When the paramedics took me to Charing Cross Hospital my organs were shutting down and there was a chance I wouldn’t make it,” said the 32-year-old PR coordinator.

“I was so scared but the staff acted so normal and they knew how to keep me calm.

“I feel very lucky and I am so grateful to the team who helped me. I want people to know how hard they work - they save lives.”

Millie’s symptoms had started with a severe headache four days earlier. She then started experiencing shooting pains in her leg.

She put the headache down to the hot weather at the time, but it got so bad that she had to leave work early.

When she got home, she started feeling sick and called the non-emergency NHS number, 111, who initially thought she was having a stroke and sent a stroke team.

Within half an hour, paramedics took her to Charing Cross Intensive Care Unit and during that time her body went into cardiac shock, which meant her organs had started shutting down.

She spent time in Intensive Care, the High Dependency Unit and the South Green Ward at Charing Cross. And thanks to the dedication of the doctors and nurses at Charing Cross, her life has returned to normal.

“I came out of it scot-free – my hearing was funny at first but it’s restored now. I am so grateful to the team, particularly the five doctors in the emergency department who helped me,” she said.

Millie, who is mother to nine-year-old Lesharn, held the event from 9.30am to 5pm. Raffle tickets, which cost £1, can be bought on the day. Money raised will go to the Intensive Care Unit at Charing Cross Hospital.

For more information about Imperial College Healthcare Charity or to make a donation, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk

29/06/15: Barrister researches family history with help from hospital

IMG 1304The history of St Mary’s Hospital has helped a barrister to discover his family’s past.

Christopher Muttukumaru CB has used the hospital’s archives and other contemporary sources to write a short photobiography about his ancestors, including his maternal grandfather, Hallock Ratnarajah, from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) , who trained as a doctor at  St Mary’s during the First World War. While Hallock was at St Mary’s, he met his future wife (Molly Rae), a Scottish nursing sister working in one of London’s military hospitals.

Christopher used minutes from meetings and written accounts from staff, as well as census records and family photographs to piece the book together.

Christopher, who lives in Bromley, said: “For me, what’s really interesting is here we are 100 years on and you can see how this great hospital has developed.

“While I was researching, I stumbled upon a piece of gold dust. I wanted to find out what St Mary’s Hospital was like in the First World War. The Trust’s archivist, Kevin Brown, told me about a book that was written by Princess Arthur  Connaught. She was nursing at St Mary’s from 1914-18, which was exactly the same time my grandfather was there.

“She worked under the name Nurse Marjorie and almost none of the staff knew who she was. She wrote a privately published memoir of her time at St Mary’s in the First World War. It was a wonderful insight into life as a hospital nurse at a momentous time in Britain’s history.”

Christopher’s book includes a story from Princess Arthur  Connaught about her contact with Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the well known St Mary’s consultant pathologist  who gave evidence at many notorious trials, including that of Dr Crippen at the Old Bailey. The book also goes into detail about the use of a pain relief method for gassed soldiers known as the Brompton Mixture, and the opportunities that were afforded by St Mary’s to female students of the London School of Medicine for Women during the war.

The book goes into detail about Christopher’s family’s origins, both in Scotland and Ceylon. The family’s medical connections at Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities from the mid 19th century onwards, as well the St Mary’s connection, are a glimpse into how students from the colonies were welcomed into the profession. But at its heart the short book tells the story of a love between a Ceylonese and a Scot and their life together in Ceylon at a time when mixed race marriages were rare. Rarer still was the choice made by Molly to live in Ceylon throughout her married life.

“There is much more than the story this is telling. I leave it hanging in this and there is a lot more to say but I had to stop,” he said.

“Much information is available in the hospital. I’m just the vehicle to get you there but here is what St Mary’s was like in the First World War.”

Before writing the book, Christopher contacted Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to ask permission to access non-sensitive parts of the St Mary’s Hospital’s archives. He spent hours researching at the hospital and wanted to find a way of saying thank you. He now supports Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which raises funds for the five hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, including St Mary’s. He donates towards the charity’s elderly hospital entertainment programme in particular. After visiting the ward at the invitation of the organiser, he said: “The staff who support this programme are strongly committed and a true credit to the professionalism of St Mary’s.”

02/06/15: Fundraisers cycle from London to Paris in honour of friends and family

Lemmings team 2 parkA team of cyclists have been inspired to get in the saddle for charity after seeing their friends and family go through lifesaving kidney treatment.

Steve Katz, Adam Harris, Alan Cohen and Richard Selvey will cycle 237 miles from London to Paris from 3 September to 6 September 2015 to raise money for Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which raises money for five London hospitals within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

The team of four, known as Team Lemmings, are raising money to thank Hammersmith Hospital for treating Steve and Adam’s friend Nick Gold, and Alan’s brother-in-law Howard Smith, who have both had kidney transplants. They also want to thank the NHS for supporting Steve’s dad Alan Katz, who is recovering from an acute kidney injury due to a blockage.

Steve, 57, who lives in Barnet, said: “We all feel it’s time to give something back. Imperial College Healthcare Charity is a great cause and we really wanted to get involved. We’ll be doing 80 miles a day, which will be tough but we’re looking forward to it.”

Imperial College Healthcare Charity raises money for Hammersmith, St Mary’s, Charing Cross, Western Eye and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea hospitals.

Nick, 42, was first admitted to Hammersmith Hospital in September 2011 with suspected kidney failure.

After suffering multiple organ failure and having a section of his intestines removed, it was discovered he had a life-threatening condition known as AL Amyloidosis (caused by deposits of abnormal protein, called amyloid, in tissues and organs throughout the body).

He was left with two colostomy bags for a year and was fed on a drip at home until his intestines were reconnected at Hammersmith. The Amyloidosis had caused massive damage to his organs and he was then reliant on dialysis three days a week by the Auchi Acute Dialysis Unit in Hammersmith Hospital for three years.

Nick, of London, said: “After three years and two cycles of chemotherapy the doctors believed I was strong enough for a kidney transplant and my angel of a sister donated a kidney on the 30 June 2014. I am now looked after by the brilliant team in the renal outpatients transplant clinic.

“Without the teams at Hammersmith Hospital; the renal, haematology, gastroenterology, general surgery and transplant teams I would not be here today.

“The skill, care and compassion I continue to receive from the consultants to the health care assistants is extraordinary and this is why my family helped set up the Imperial Kidney Fund at Imperial College Healthcare Charity and are so passionate in trying to raise money and awareness so they can research and continue to offer their world class care.”

The team is also raising funds in honour of Howard, 61, of Oxhey in Hertfordshire, who was diagnosed with end stage renal failure when he went to the doctors to get a spot on his nose checked in May 2011.  

A series of tests proved it was not cancerous, but showed he had a hereditary kidney condition and he was put straight onto dialysis and put on the transplant waiting list.  

After undergoing tests, Howard’s wife Sharon discovered she could be his live, unrelated, donor, and four months after the diagnosis they were both lying side by side in Hammersmith Hospital being told the transplant had been a success.

The couple now attend the Live Kidney Donor Seminars, at the Hammersmith Hospital, to help others understand and promote this relatively unknown procedure to those requiring a kidney transplant.

To sponsor Team Lemmings, visit www.justgiving.com/Steve-Katz

16/06/15: Birth centre expansion kick-started by charity appeal

IMG 1070Work has started to transform the birth centre at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital thanks to a charity appeal.

The birth centre has not had any major refurbishment in more than a decade and Imperial College Healthcare Charity, the charity which raises funds for the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is aiming to raise £500,000 for the renovation work through its Birth Centre Appeal.

The charity still needs the public’s help to reach their target, and money raised will be used to create a new birth room and birthing pool, new antenatal consultation rooms, and to install air into every birth room for resuscitation cabinets.

Laura Watts, community fundraising team manager at Imperial College Healthcare Charity, said: “It’s great to see that work has started but the appeal still has a long way to go.

“We need your help to reach our £500,000 target and we’re keen to hear from people who want to get involved. It could be a bake sale at work or you could take part in one of our challenge events in September. Whatever you want to do, we want to hear from you.

“We want to thank everyone who has supported the appeal so far, including Westfield London, Cargiant and all the people who have been baking, walking, running and swimming to help make the birth centre the best it can be.”

Birth centres are a more homely environment to give birth, led by midwives, where the emphasis is on a natural birth. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has two birth centres; one at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and the other at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital in White City.

Imperial College Healthcare Charity raised money for the birth centre at St Mary’s in 2008, creating a modern, well-equipped space. The intention is now to replicate the same high standards at Queen Charlotte’s.

The birth centre at Queen Charlotte’s remains open to the public while the work is taking place. With demand increasing from 700 to over 900 births in the last year, improvements to facilities are needed. It is hoped the work will be complete early next year.

Pauline Cooke, consultant midwife, said: “We’re now beginning to see progress with the renovations and it feels like things are happening.

“This work will make a huge difference for our patients and the work so far gives you just a taste of what it is going to look like.”

To celebrate Father’s Day, the charity is asking people to send dad selfies, delfies, to raise funds for the Birth Centre Appeal. From 15 June to 21 June, they want photos of dads with their children and grandchildren – no matter what age they are.

Simply tweet your #Delfie to @ImperialCharity using the #Delfie hashtag, then make a £2 donation by texting DADS16 £2 to 70070. Don't forget to nominate three friends to take a #Delfie too.

You can also send your #Delfie on the charity’s Facebook page or email it to lauren.levy@imperial.nhs.uk

For more information or to donate online, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/birth-centre

09/06/15: Maternity support worker set to hike up Snowdon for Birth Centre Appeal

photo 1A maternity support worker is set to hike up Snowdon to raise funds for the Birth Centre Appeal at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital.

Suzy Leaves, who works in maternity triage at Queen Charlotte’s, will take part in the nine mile round trip on June 13 as part of a group of 24 Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff.

Suzy’s two grandchildren were born at St Mary’s Birth Centre, and she was so impressed by the facilities that she is using the walk as an opportunity to raise funds for Imperial College Healthcare Charity’s appeal to renovate Queen Charlotte’s Birth Centre.

“The facilities at St Mary’s Birth Centre were amazing. My daughter, Louise, had a great experience there during both births. She had a water birth when she had Noah, who is now three, and she also had a positive experience when she had one-year-old Mali,” said the 44-year-old, who lives in Kilburn.

“The birth centre at St Mary’s was very relaxing and Louise was very happy with the care there. It’s like having a spa in the hospital – it’s incredible.”

Birth centres are a more homely environment to give birth, led by midwives, where the emphasis is on a natural birth. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has two birth centres; one at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and the other at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital in White City.

Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which raises money for the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, raised money for the birth centre at St Mary’s in 2008, creating a modern, well-equipped space.

The intention is now to replicate the same high standards at Queen Charlotte’s, which has not had any major refurbishment since opening in April 2001. With demand increasing from 700 to over 900 births in the last year, improvements to facilities are needed.

“The birth centre at Queen Charlotte’s is nice but it needs a bit of a boost. It would be lovely if we could offer women the same facilities at Queen Charlotte’s as there are at St Mary’s. I saw this Snowdon walk as an opportunity to raise funds towards the charity’s £500,000 appeal,” said Suzy.

The walk will see Suzy and the Imperial Health and Wellbeing group climbing to the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales which stands at 3,560ft, in a single day.

“The Imperial Health and Wellbeing group has been fundamental in this venture and has helped me get on the path of good health – it’s a very much needed resource,” she said.

Suzy has raised about £300 for Imperial College Healthcare Charity’s Birth Centre Appeal so far. To sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/suzy-leaves

05/06/15: Celebrate Father's Day with a #Delfie

510BAB-8706It's Father's Day on 21 June - so to make dad feel special, we’re asking you to take a #Delfie (Dad+selfie= #Delfie).

From 15 June to 21 June, we want you to send us #Delfies with your dad, grandad, stepdad or someone who is like a dad to you.

If you're a dad yourself, why not take a photo with your son or daughter?

Simply tweet your #Delfie to @ImperialCharity using the #Delfie hashtag, then make a £2 donation by texting DADS16 £2 to 70070. Don't forget to nominate three friends to take a #Delfie too!

You can also send your #Delfie to us on our Facebook page, just search for Imperial College Healthcare Charity on Facebook or email your photo to lauren.levy@imperial.nhs.uk. Please remember to nominate your friends and donate.

Your money will go towards our £500,000 Birth Centre Appeal to renovate the birth centre at Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital. Thank you.

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