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The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund is the award winning charity supporting the Yorkshire heart unit at the Leeds General Infirmary. They fund equipment, staff posts, resources and training for those who work on the heart wards; and support CHD patients and their families.
HOW DO THEY HELP
Thanks to the generosity support, they’ve been able to approve funding for projects totalling millions of pounds in the last few years. From funding cutting edge equipment to paying for the fish tank on the ward, they are always on the lookout for ways we can help improve the lives of our young heart patients. Here are some of the ways they aim to give every child a childhood…
They approve grant requests for equipment worth many hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. Recently, this has included:
Echocardiogram machines to scan patients’ heart
Cutting edge technology such as specialist fetal probe
An ECMO machine to help patients come off by-pass after surgery
3D distraction equipment to help patients remain calm during tests and minor procedure
INR home testing kits that mean patients don’t have to come into hospital as often
As well as this expensive kit, they also fund much smaller but also significant items, such as end-of-bed trolleys and even stickers to be given to patients as rewards after tests.
STAFFING POSITIONG & TRAINING
They fund some key staff positions, including a clinical psychologist and a social worker to support families; and award grants for doctors and nurses to attend training courses, important conferences and to train overseas.
Being able to stay in the hospital when your child is recovering from surgery is hugely important to parents, so they help keep families together by funding parent accommodation. Over the last three years they have awarded more than £335,000 to The Sick Children’s Trust to help build and run Eckersley House – the main family accommodation at the LGI. And this year they have just refurbished new family bedrooms in the LGI’s Brotherton Wing that will be used exclusively for heart families.
They want the wards to be the best possible environments for patients and their families, so provide furnishings, decorations, and equipment for the playroom, pay for games consoles, DVDs, toys and craft resources, and even fund the ward’s resident – and famous – goldfish.
As well as funding staff positions to support families, they award travel and other grants. Also, they offer a support network of thousands of fellow parents, patients, and extended family members on their Facebook community group, which has more than 4,500 members. If you’ve got a question on anything from what to pack in your hospital bag to the best available travel insurance, or if you need just a bit of a boost, they have fantastic supporters who are always there for each other.
They fund research posts and projects to help ensure knowledge of, and treatment for, congenital heart defects is always advancing and that our region leads that progress.
They are always looking for new ways to help support patients, and that the board of trustees meet regularly to consider applications for funding. The quarterly supporter magazine, BraveHearts, will help you keep up to date with the projects they have funded.
Echocardiogram machines to scan patients’ heartCutting edge technology such as specialist fetal probeAn ECMO machine to help patients come off by-pass after surgery3D distraction equipment to help patients remain calm during tests and minor procedureINR home testing kits that mean patients don’t have to come into hospital as often