It’s every parents worst nightmare for their child to become seriously ill and living in Lancashire I do know people who have been through this and have used he services that Alder Hey children’s hospital provide. Every year Alder Hey cares for over 275,000 patients and their families. I wanted to share a story of one of their charity ambassadors with you, of a boy who is remarkably brave and after needing Alder Hey himself, now fundraises with other ambassadors. They raise money for the charity so that it can continue to provide vital funds to provide life-saving medical equipment and facilities that make a real difference to families every day.
Recently the charity installed distraction technology in many rooms to help divert attention away from the treatment or medical examinations that need to be carried out by medical staff, and to entertain young patients with colourful, bright and positive images projected on the walls. This immersive technology helps to transform a white walled room into a magical world where children can escape from reality and be free from fear and anxiety.
Alder Hey Children’s Charity has recently launched a brand-new running hub to inspire and motivate people to Run for Charity. With delicious recipe ideas, running tips and 5k, 10K, half marathon and marathon training guides, if you’d like to challenge yourself to run a 5K, 10K or even a marathon why not go and check out the running training plans now.
For the first few years of Daniel Bell’s life, he was like any other toddler, full of energy, happy and full of life at home in Ormskirk, but doctors soon discovered Daniel had a brain tumour the size of a fist.
At aged three, mum Rosalind and dad Colin, had noticed a change in Daniel’s behaviour. He wasn’t the same happy go lucky toddler he used to be. Rosalind explains “His personality literally changed. He was grumpy had lots of tantrums, was sick and went back to sleeping in the day too, which was the total opposite of what he was previously.”
Thankfully Rosalind recognised some of the symptoms of a brain tumour. Daniel was taken to Ormskirk A&E who quickly realised the severity of the situation and Daniel diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Daniel was rushed straight to Alder Hey which is a centre of excellence for brain conditions. “It was like the bottom had fallen out of my world, our lives changed in a split second. We were told he needed to go to Alder Hey right away and we were blue-lighted to Liverpool,” says Rosalind.
Once at Alder Hey, Daniel was taken straight to theatre where Neurosurgeon Ms Sasha Burns drained fluid on his brain during a 3 hour life-saving operation and the next day Daniel’s tumour was removed during a 9 hour operation by Mr Conor Mallucci, who recently featured in BBC2 documentary Hospital.
“Mr Mallucci told us that Daniel had a cystic tumour which was the size of an adult’s fist and there was a possibility of Daniel losing motor and mobility skills as the result of the procedure,” explained Rosalind.
The operation was a success, helped by the use of Alder Hey’s 3-T MRI scanner, a pioneering scanner which allows surgeons to scan the brain in theatre. Alder Hey is the first hospital in Europe to have this kit, which was paid for by Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
“It was 6pm when we heard that Daniel was out of theatre. We were approaching HDU to see him when we heard Daniel shouting at the nurses. I have to admit it was the best sound ever,” said Rosalind. “Mr Mallucci said that the operation ‘went perfectly’ and that he had successfully managed to remove the whole of Daniel’s tumour. We spent 6 days on HDU to recover and then went to the neuro ward for a week. The nurses were incredible,” said Rosalind.
Rosalind said: “When we got the scans from Oncology which told us that no further treatment was needed it was an amazing relief. I cried a lot after that.”
Daniel is now a healthy and very active little boy and also a budding actor. “Daniel is really happy. He is a cheeky little kid and he loves being with his friends. He has performed in Little Shop of Horrors with his local Performing Arts Club and he loves to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.”