19/04/16: Horse riding accident won't stop nurse
from fundraising for children's intensive care unit
Despite breaking her back in two places, a generous nurse is determined to celebrate her 50th birthday by raising money to expand a children's intensive care unit in London.
Heather Hanna had signed up for a 150ft abseil at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington in aid of the More Smiles Appeal on 27 April - her 50th birthday.
But the mother-of-two, who works at the hospital in Paddington as a senior paediatric research nurse, fractured two vertebrae in her back in a horse riding accident last month and has been advised by her doctor not to take part in the event.
"Even though I’m not taking part in the event this year, I am still keen to support the charity for my birthday and I am hoping people will donate to the appeal instead of giving me presents. Raising money is a great way to celebrate being alive for 50 years and give something back at the same time," said the mother-of-two.
The More Smiles Appeal aims to raise at least £2million to expand and renovate the children's intensive care unit at St Mary's Hospital.
Every year, around 400 patients are cared for in the unit but it also turns away hundreds more critically ill children because it does not have enough beds. This means children may have to be transferred hundreds of miles for treatment.
Last year, the unit had to turn away 233 children, more than half the number actually admitted.
The new unit will have 15 beds, almost doubling the current number, allowing more than 200 extra children to be cared for each year. There will also be new equipment, a dedicated parents' room and a private room allowing space for doctors and nurses to provide emotional support and care to families whose children are very seriously ill.
Heather, who has raised more than £500 so far, is hoping to take part in the abseil next year.
She said she has been inspired to raise money for the appeal by the children she has met during her 32 years in nursing.
"I want to thank everyone who has donated. I'm spurred on thinking about the children I have met in the children's intensive care unit over the years that have shown extreme bravery when they haven't had a choice," she said.
Heather said one of these children was Jonathan Allen who came into the unit in December 2013 at the age of 12.
His family took part in research that Heather was carrying out in the unit, which is how she met them.
"The fact they were willing to take part in research at one of the hardest times in their lives was very brave and touching. It wasn't likely that he was going to survive but the team in the children's intensive care unit saved his life," she said.
Jonathan, of Brentwood in Essex, (pictured below with his family) has now made a full recovery and will celebrate turning 15 the day after Heather turns 50.
His mum, Dawn, said: "It's every parent's worst nightmare. Just two hours after he arrived, the doctor told me to get my husband, Jeffrey, and our daughter, Rachel, to come to the hospital and prepare ourselves for the worst.
"I couldn't believe it. My son was walking around 24 hours earlier and then the doctor was telling me my son could die."
While Jonathan was in a coma, a St Mary's doctor worked out that Jonathan was suffering from a rare disorder of the adrenal glands known as Addison's disease.
"They told us that even if he did recover he would probably be brain damaged. It was a horrendous time," said Dawn.
"But when he went for his brain scan a few days later, they said they had never known anything like it. The doctor told us if he didn't know Jonathan's case he would have thought he was looking at the brain scan of a completely healthy person. My husband and I had tears rolling down our faces."
Jonathan woke from his coma just five days after arriving at St Mary's.
Dawn, who works as a music teacher, said: "He took one look at me and said 'mum, why are you crying?'. I will never forget that moment.
"It's just through the quick-thinking of one of the doctors that he was diagnosed with Addison's disease and given the medication he needed. They saved his life. As a family we are just so grateful to St Mary's for Jonathan's life."
To sponsor Heather, go to www.justgiving.com/Heather-Hanna-SMH.
To sign up for the abseil, click here.
11/04/16: Son's hospital treatment inspires
marathon effort from dad
A father is taking part in the Brighton Marathon to thank St Mary’s Hospital for treating his son.
Alan Evans’ son, Paddy, was diagnosed with a multi-drug resistant infection in July after developing an abscess on his neck.
The 19-year-old is set to make a full recovery after he completes his 18-month course of medication, and Alan is so grateful to the hospital that he is raising funds for Imperial College Healthcare Charity by taking part in the 26.2 mile event on 17 April.
“Paddy’s infection first showed up in the lymph nodes in his neck in July 2014. He had a big abscess and he was feeling very tired so we went to the doctor to get it checked out,” said Alan, of Brentwood in Essex.
“We were referred to our local hospital and then to St Mary’s. I didn’t know what it was but I wasn’t worried because I knew Paddy was strong.
“St Mary’s is great and the staff are very helpful. Paddy is six months into his treatment now and it should get easier from now on. The infection is nearly out of his system but they just have to make sure it’s eradicated.
“My son is lucky because he will make a full recovery. The treatment is very costly, estimated to be between about £50,000 and £100,000, so I want to try to raise a little money to give something back. Every penny I raise will go towards the children’s department at St Mary’s.”
The maths and physics tutor, who also took part in a 44-mile ultra-marathon last year, will be among about 20,000 runners taking part in the event. The route winds through the city streets before finishing on the spectacular Brighton seafront.
This will be his twelfth marathon having previously completed other events including the Halstead Marathon and Dorset Giant’s Head Marathon. He is hoping to complete the Brighton Marathon in less than four hours.
Alan, 48, adopted his son nine years ago after meeting him while he was working as a teacher in Swaziland in Southern Africa.
While he was there he fostered Paddy, whose mother died in 2004, and then adopted him and brought him back with him.
Paddy and some of their other family members will be cheering Alan on at the event.
To sponsor Alan, click here.
08/04/16: 'She showed us how to live'...teenager's family pledge to complete her bucket list for appeal
Friends and family of a fun-loving teenager who died after collapsing at school are completing her bucket list to raise money in her memory for a £2million appeal.
Plashet School pupil Vaishali Bance Suhayr who suffered from severe allergies and asthma, was taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington after she collapsed but died a few days later on 17 October 2015.
Those who knew the 15-year-old are fundraising for the St Mary’s Hospital More Smiles Appeal in a variety of ways, including activities from her bucket list.
The appeal aims to raise at least £2million to help expand and improve the hospital’s children’s intensive care unit.
Her mother, Srija, of East Ham, said: “Vaishali showed us how to live. Her allergies and asthma meant she had to be so careful all the time. Even lying in the grass or breathing in the dust from fireworks could land her in hospital but she always said if she enjoyed herself it was worth going to hospital for. She made everyone believe she was invincible.
“We discovered after she passed away that she had written a bucket list of things she wanted to do in her life. There were so many things - swim with dolphins, go cliff-jumping, milk a cow, write her name in concrete. Things I never even knew about.
“When it was the funeral we were collecting photos and we realised how much she had done. It’s because of her that we lived so much. We are going to complete her bucket list for her now to raise money for the More Smiles Appeal. Her aunty has been swimming with dolphins and I have written her name in concrete outside my mum’s house. She had so many dreams and wanted to go out and do all these things. We are so proud of her.”
The popular school pupil, who had two sisters and nine cousins, was predicted seven A* grades in her GCSEs despite only having a 60 per cent attendance rate due to her health.
The family said Vaishali inspired everyone around her with her bright nature and motto, “YOLO” (you only live once).
Vaishali’s father, Harish, said: “She had this way of breaking down barriers. When she was in hospital everyone from her nursery teachers to her school friends came to see her.
“We had four days of seeing that much love – I don’t know how she did it. At the funeral we had every race, religion and age there. She was like a glue that bound everybody together.”
Just a few days before Vaishali died, Srija was called to pick her up from school after she started feeling unwell. But her condition quickly deteriorated so the school called for an ambulance. She was given her usual medication but then went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. Her heart stopped again before paramedics managed to save her once more.
Srija said: “It was the most horrible thing to ever see. In my heart I knew she was gone but I just wanted someone to tell me she was there.
“The emergency response team just wouldn’t give up, nobody would give up and they got her breathing again. It was like Vaishali had gone up there and said ‘I know you’re taking me now but I need to go back and tie up some loose ends’.”
The family thanked St Mary’s Hospital for caring for Vaishali, and for allowing so many people to see her. The family also thanked Newham University Hospital, The Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew's Surgery for their support throughout Vaishali's life.
Harish added: “Everybody wanted to see Vaishali and St Mary's let us do that. There’s nowhere else that has a team like St Mary’s, they’re amazing.
“Losing Vaishali was the hardest thing to ever go through but we never could have done it without them.”
The St Mary’s More Smiles Appeal, led by Imperial College Healthcare Charity and Cosmic, aims to raise at least £2million towards a £10million project to create a bigger, state-of-the-art children’s intensive care unit. The remainder of the costs are to be funded by the Trust and Imperial College Healthcare Charity.
Vaishali’s school has raised more than £2,144 for the appeal, and will be holding a non-uniform day on her birthday, 15 January, every year to raise money.
Plashet School headteacher, Rachel McGowan, said: “The unit supported Vaishali’s family during a very tough time and we are immensely grateful for the work they do.
“The one thing many of us remember about Vaishali was her beautiful hair and determination to make the most of every minute and therefore we wish to celebrate each year what makes each of us beautiful.
“We feel that by wearing our own choice of clothes to school on Vaishali’s birthday each year we can celebrate her life and hold true to her motto of ‘you only live once’ or YOLO by letting our own personalities shine through and being our beautiful selves.”
Vaishali’s friends and family have raised more than £4,311 so far. To donate in her memory, click here.
For more information or to support the appeal, go to www.moresmiles.org.uk.
08/04/16: Talk on Royal Academy exhibition to take place at St Mary's Hospital
The Staff Arts Club are delighted to welcome artist and lecturer, Grace Adam to take us through the current Royal Academy of Arts exhibition: ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’.
See and hear about the hugely popular landmark exhibition through a visual presentation that examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s through some of the world’s best-loved artists.
The talk takes place on Tuesday 12 April from 5pm to 6pm at the Cockburn Lecture Theatre on the second floor of the QEQM Building at St Mary's Hospital. Open to all staff, patients and visitors. Refreshments will be provided.
Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse closes on 20 April. You can still visit any time with your Imperial staff ID badge. Please make sure to present your pass at the black member’s desk in the main entrance to receive a free ticket for entry.
06/04/16: St Mary's hospital worker takes on marathon for charity
“I’m determined to use my place to raise awareness of the work of Imperial College Healthcare Charity,” said Emily Burrows, who is set to take on the London Marathon on 24 April.
Emily has worked at St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, for more than two years and during that time she has witnessed the impact the hospital charity’s work has had on patients and Trust staff across five hospitals in London.
“I’ve seen the difference the charity’s support has made to improving the care for our patients: from helping to create dementia friendly wards and funding ground breaking research to supporting the redevelopment of our children’s intensive care unit and major trauma centre at St Mary’s Hospital,” said the 28-year-old, who is a financial analyst for the Trust.
“Only 20 per cent of applicants get a place in the London Marathon from the ballot, so it was a bit of a shock when I got one,” she said. “At the time I wasn’t expecting to actually have to run 26.2 miles so I am now feeling really excited and just a little bit terrified!”
The Virgin Money London Marathon is one of the biggest sporting events in the UK, with more than 35,000 runners taking part every year. The iconic route passes through the streets of London from Blackheath through to central London and the famous finishing line at The Mall.
Over the past few months, Emily, who lives in Windsor, has braved the British winter weather to train. She said, “I have been running four times a week and the distance has been creeping up, but I feel I still have a long way to go!”
“I just want to raise as much as I can for the charity. Every pound raised makes training in the wind and rain that little bit easier and all the more worth it!” Family and friends have been so supportive that she has already surpassed her fundraising target, raising close to £900 in the process.
To sponsor Emily, click here.
06/04/16: Just days left to enter staff art exhibition
Budding artists at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are being reminded to get their entries for the staff art exhibition in before Monday 11 April.
There are just five days until the deadline for the chance to get your work shown at Hammersmith, St Mary's and Charing Cross hospitals later this year.
The Arts Team at Imperial College Healthcare Charity welcome submissions from all staff and immediate family at the Trust of any artistic ability.
Whether you are an amateur photographer at weekends, enjoy drawing or painting in your spare time or simply being creative, this exhibition will showcase the hidden talents within the hospitals.
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Photography – Painting – Drawing – Printmaking – Other.
We can accept works of visual art in the following media: painting, drawing, etching, photography, textiles, screenprint, woodcut etc. Sculpture unfortunately cannot be submitted due to space limitations. Full terms and conditions can be found in the submission form below.
To take part, click here.
04/04/16: Free public lecture on the practice of neurosurgery in Senegal in West Africa
The charity, in association with Le Korsa, is pleased to present a public lecture on the challenges faced by clinical staff in Senegal in West Africa.
Professor Seydou Boubakar Badiane, head of the department of neurosurgery CHU Fann-Dakar, Senegal, will be speaking in the Cockburn Lecture Theatre on the second floor of the QEQM Building, St Mary's Hospital on Monday 25 April at 1pm. Refreshments will be served from 12.30pm.
Senegal is a developing country located in the most western part of Africa, with a budget of nearly 3000 billion CFA Francs (600 billion USD), it spends 140 billion on health (USD 280 million). The health priorities are the fight against maternal and child mortality, AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
The campaign against chronic diseases with expensive care is a constant concern for all practitioners in healthcare. The practice of neurosurgery has long been considered a luxury - a synoptic presentation of the different types of pathologies encountered, is centered around traumatism, developmental abnormalities, infection and degenerative pathologies as well as vascular and tumour pathologies. To this end, a particular focus is on paediatric pathology, which represents 30 per cent of the case load in the department.
The difficulties encountered are mainly the lack or inadequate infrastructures, equipment and qualified human resources. Moreover, patients usually seek medical consultation at very late stages in the course of the diseases. The observed lesions are usually in its advanced stage. This explains often the significant rate of morbidity and mortality. In view of the conditions of the working environment, infection is also a very important issue.
Challenges remain, mostly the equipping of departments and the training of young Africans in this speciality that has very few members in the African region specially in Sub-Saharian Africa.
No tickets are required but so that we can gauge numbers for refreshments, please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org