A CHARITY set up in memory of a little boy who died from a brain tumour has helped fund a pioneering rehab service.
The resource at Southampton General Hospital will be available for children from the South of England with brain and spinal tumours.
The first member of the team has been funded by robbiesrally, which was set up by Mark Keville in memory of his 10-year-old son, Robbie who died of a brain tumour last year.
Physiotherapist Kate Gatehouse will start next month and will focus on providing care for children once they have been discharged from hospital following treatment.
She said: “This role will help to provide specialist care and support to the lives of many children and families and I can’t wait to get started.”
Currently, rehabilitation for children after neurosurgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment across the NHS is provided while patients remain in hospital but is limited once they return home.
Mark Keville, who began fundraising in 2015 when Robbie was still alive, said: “While treatment has improved recently in terms of saving lives, children who survive generally have more lasting damage as a result of the tumour and its treatment than those afflicted with other forms of cancer.
“It has been shown that children benefit enormously from follow-on rehabilitation from, among others, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists for their physical and psychological development.
“However, this treatment is often only available to the most seriously ill children who qualify for an inpatient stay when children discharged are often in very great need of rehabilitation so that they can return to leading normal lives fulfilling their potential at home and at school.”
Mark’s aim is to provide a complete outpatient rehabilitation service, known as Robbie’s Rehab, in partnership with Southampton Children’s Hospital and Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity.
Aabir Chakraborty, clinical lead for children’s neurosurgery at Southampton Children’s Hospital, said: “We are extremely proud of the high level of performance of our unit and excellent outcomes but rehabilitation remains an area in need of improvement nationwide.
“This exciting project, led by such a fantastic group in robbiesrally, will make a huge difference to our young patients, helping them to return to as normal a life as possible.
“I am proud to be associated with this work and look forward to seeing the benefits for our patients.”
For more information visit: robbiesrally.com.