Fundraising friends visit the hospital

3 February 2012

A Rotherham schoolgirl brought her classmates to The Children's Hospital last week to deliver a cheque and to show them where she is treated for her medical condition.

Lucy Mountain, from Wickersley, brought five of her year five friends from St Albans school on the trip, delivering a cheque for £653.90.

Lucy, aged 10, has been treated at the hospital’s cystic fibrosis unit since she was born. Lucy visits the unit on average every four weeks and this gave her the chance to show her school friends what her hospital visits are all about.

Lucy's friends tried out a spirometry test, which measures lung function, met Theo the Bear, and performed a song for him that they had learned in choir practice. 

The school had chosen to support us with their Christmas events, and inspired by Lucy, raised over three times the amount they have raised at past events.

“Lucy’s had a challenging few years,” said Lucy’s mum Joanne. “She’s spent a lot of time here, but she likes being here. She loves The Children’s Hospital; it’s not scary to her at all. 

“The play specialists are brilliant and Lucy won’t go home until she’s been to scouts. She always has a craft project on the go too.

“When she does need a course of antibiotics, we start the treatment at the hospital, but then try and continue at home, so that Lucy can still go to school in the afternoons.”

Dr Noreen West, Lucy’s consultant, said: “Lucy has needed several courses of intravenous antibiotics due to chest problems over the last couple of years. 

“The spirometry test is a basic but essential test to see how Lucy’s lungs are functioning. It tells us whether Lucy needs antibiotics, if medication is working and so on. We need the patient to blow into a tube for as long and as hard as they can and the animated computer programme we use makes the test more fun for children. 

“They can choose from different scenarios, like blowing a bowling ball into pins, blowing out candles or helping a little man fly.

“It’s the best measure of improvement or decline in our patients. If we see a 10-15% drop in a child’s lung function it is probably necessary to give them a course of antibiotics. Lucy’s lung function is currently 75% that of ‘normal’, which is the best we’ve seen from her for a while.”

“Lucy has an annual review, which is when she comes in for a full day of tests, including chest x-rays, exercise tests and an ultrasound on her abdomen. Lucy has just finished a course of intravenous antibiotics and is looking very well at the moment.”

Cystic fibrosis is one of the UK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases, affecting over 9,000 people in the UK. It affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system.

People with cystic fibrosis usually need twice daily physiotherapy to help clear their lungs of mucus. Antibiotics are used to fight inflammation and infection in the lungs. Most people with CF also need to take enzyme tablets every time they eat to help them digest food, along with a high calorie diet to help with growth.

We recently funded two new spirometers for the hospital, one of which will be housed in the cystic fibrosis unit. You can support our medical equipment fund here.

Fundraising friends visit the hospital...

Lucy Mountain (third from left) with Theo and classmates Lucy Podmore, Katie Wood, Megan Olivia Albiston, Lucy Hobman and Lockie Lucy Jane Clay

We recently funded two new spirometers for the hospital, one of which will be housed in the cystic fibrosis unit. You can support our medical equipment fund here.

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