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Final push for Wessex Heartbeat's High 5 appeal
Wessex Heartbeat’s Ken Wilde, Tina Richardson, Alison Farrell and Jennifer Kenny push for final £100,000 for the charity’s High 5 appeal
IT is the final push for a charity trying to transform the hospital experience for thousands of youngsters.
Today the Daily Echo gives its backing to Wessex Heartbeat as it bids to raise the last £100,000 of its ambitious High 5 fundraising campaign.
It is estimated that one in every 100 children is born with a congenital heart problem for which they will need to see heart specialists throughout their lives.
Babies and children under 16 are treated at Ocean Ward, but once they turn 16 they have to go to an adult ward where the majority of patients are elderly and possibly seriously ill or dying.
Youngsters who have been treated in these wards have said they felt frightened, lonely and isolated during their stay, and being treated in these wards can add stress to both patients and families.
Wessex Heartbeat’s High 5 Appeal aims to build a young adult cardiac unit to cater for people aged 16 to 30, tailored to their particular needs.
Wessex Heartbeat chief executive Alison Farrell said: “How many of us can understand the huge impact living with a heart condition has on young cardiac patients and their families?
“At Wessex Heartbeat we have the privilege of talking to incredibly brave young people, some of whom have had several major heart operations and procedures, as well as long periods on wards.
Incredibly brave “They are truly amazing in how they cope with the often difficult realities of their life-long conditions.
“These same patients tell us the new unit for them will greatly improve their medical, psychological and emotional experience while they are being treated. They don’t ask for much, just a place to call their own in hospital to be more normal, more independent and do some of the things other youngsters take for granted. Together that’s exactly what we’ll give them.
“Twenty thousand readers fundraising or donating £5 each and we can make this happen.
“I am very grateful to the Daily Echo for getting behind our ‘Final Push’ and my heartfelt thanks go out to everyone wanting to help us achieve our target.”
Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray added: “We are delighted to back this wonderful appeal. While no one is suggesting that the plight of young cardiac patients is not understood, nor taken as seriously as that of younger victims, it’s undeniable that these young people need to be seen and treated separately from adults.
“We can all think back to when we were in our late teens and imagine the discomfort we would feel being forced to share a hospital ward with patients in some cases decades older than ourselves. At its centre that is what this appeal is all about, providing dignity and a great deal of relaxation and wellbeing.”
For more information or to
donate, call 023 8070 6095, email
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