When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Final push needed to complete hospital children's unit in Southampton
YOUNGSTERS in Southampton suffering from brain tumours and head injuries are now being treated in a specialist world-class unit that will ensure they get the very best care.
The first phase of the Smile4Wessex’s Children’s Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital was completed within a year after an appeal quickly raised £100,000.
Although it has accepted its first patients the unit is unfinished and cannot open all its beds until the final £50,000 is raised to complete phase two.
With the help of Daily Echo readers the charity is hoping for one final push to smash the £150,000 target and ensure as many sick children as possible are given the best chance of survival.
The old facilities comprised a ward, playroom, kitchen and office all rolled into one small, cramped space, which was surrounded by adult wards.
The new unit is twice the size, has two more beds, includes a six-bed high-dep-endency unit and a room with flip-down beds for parents.
Once phase two is completed there will be also be a dedicated playroom, a quiet room for parents, a kitchen and new bathroom and wetroom facilities.
One patient already benefiting from the new ward is Angel Gillam, six, who was diagnosed at one day old with hydrocephalus – fluid on the brain.
She has spent 17 days on the ward after having brain surgery and her parents immediately felt the benefits of the new unit.
Angel’s mum Debbie said: “Angel’s two brothers hated visiting their sister on the old ward because you had to walk through an adult neurological ward where patients would yell and scream, which they found very scary. But this new unit is fantastic and they are quite happy to come here. This will make such a difference to families.”
Another patient, Milly Cheong, 16, who has been in and out of hospital since she was five, added: “When you come in and have surgery you can be here for quite a while feeling really ill and I always felt trapped in a little bubble that I couldn’t get out of.
"But this new ward when it’s complete will help to change all that for patients like me and that will really help to make it all that little bit easier.”
At the moment the ward can only operate at 75 per cent capacity so the final £50,000 is really needed.
Neil Westbrook, from the charity, said: “This is a real legacy. When everything else has gone this will still be here treating children and that is a fantastic legacy for the charity.”