Hospital sets up Kids Appeal to help fund vital equipment

Hospital sets up Kids Appeal to help fund vital equipment

The campaign, being run by the Charitable Fund of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust [MTW], aims to raise £30,000.

The money could be used to buy equipment such as a ‘Baby Pod’ to safely transport sick babies between the Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone hospitals and the Trust’s birth centres in Maidstone and Crowborough.

Other options include cardiac Echo ultrasound probes and a cough assist machine, as well as toys and baby mobiles.

Local residents, schools and businesses are being asked to wear Christmas jumpers this Friday [December 6] in exchange for a donation to the Kids Appeal.

The fundraiser is being backed by the family of a teenage boy with a life-limiting condition who regularly visits Tunbridge Wells Hospital for treatment.

Seventeen-year-old Sidney Blundell has congenital myotonic dystrophy, which causes progressive muscle weakness and significant breathing problems.

He needs help to shift chest secretions and uses a cough assist machine.

Now the hospital hopes to obtain one which can be used exclusively by children.

A mouthpiece or tracheostomy adaptor is applied to the airway. As a child breathes in, the machine blows air into the lungs slowly.

After a short pause, the machine quickly pulls the air out, along with any mucus, imitating the actions of a cough.

As the weather becomes colder over the winter, more children are admitted to hospital with respiratory-related illnesses.                                   

Sidney’s mother, Emily, from Sevenoaks, said: “Two years ago Sidney was hospitalised and spent six days on Hedgehog Ward, including Christmas Day.

“He was so seriously ill that at one point we didn’t know whether he would pull through at all. It was a really hard time for the family.

“But the professionalism and care of the team at Tunbridge Wells Hospital made it so much easier. We are urging local people to do what they can and support the appeal.”

Tunbridge Wells Hospital provides a range of children’s services, including a dedicated children’s A&E and award-winning Neonatal Unit.

Hedgehog Ward cares for children from birth to 16 within its 23-bed inpatient unit, while Woodlands Unit is an ambulatory and day-case ward with a further 15 beds.

Donations can be made by texting MTWKIDS and the amount you wish to donate to 70085 or by visiting the following web page:

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