‘Princess’ is forced to live in hospi­tal

NOWHERE TO GO: Tod­dler with rare lung dis­ease needs suit­able home

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Mike Ben­nett

A THREE-year-old girl and her mum are be­ing forced to live in hospi­tal be­cause they’ve got nowhere else to go.

Ge­orgina Farmer and her daugh­ter So­phie, who has a rare lung dis­ease, have been stuck in Ash­ford’s William Har­vey hospi­tal for months as they wait for hous­ing chiefs to find them some­where suit­able to live.

Al­though doc­tors say the lit­tle girl – known to med­i­cal staff as Princess – is now well enough to leave, they re­main ma­rooned at the hospi­tal.

A TOD­DLER with a rare lung dis­ease and her sin­gle par­ent mother are be­ing forced to live in hospi­tal be­cause the coun­cil is un­able to pro­vide them with a suit­able home to cope with her con­di­tion.

Ge­orgina Farmer’s three­year-old daugh­ter So­phie has been ma­rooned in the Padua chil­dren’s ward at the William Har­vey for the past nine weeks, with her mum sleep­ing at her bed­side.

This is de­spite med­i­cal staff say­ing So­phie is now well enough to leave hospi­tal and cope at home.

Fol­low­ing a Christ­mas cold the young­ster be­came in­creas­ingly ill, cul­mi­nat­ing in her spend­ing 11 days on a ven­ti­la­tor in a Lon­don hospi­tal.

Un­able to breath prop­erly, she had spells in in­ten­sive care at the Royal Bromp­ton lung and heart hospi­tal be­fore con­sul­tants fi­nally di­ag­nosed bronchiec­ta­sis – a con­di­tion that dam­ages the lungs and only strikes two or three pa­tients a year in Bri­tain.

De­spite need­ing oxy­gen to be avail­able 24 hours a day she has now been sta­bilised.

Her for­mer nurs­ery teacher mother has been trained to ad­min­is­ter the phys­io­ther­apy which So­phie needs around the clock to make her cough and clear her lungs.

Bright, brave and bub­bly, So­phie is known as Princess by ward nurses and doc­tors at the William Har­vey.

Ac­com­pa­nied by her life­sav­ing oxy­gen cylin­der, So­phie and her mum reg­u­larly leave the hospi­tal to go for walks around Willes­bor­ough or lunch in the nearby Tesco store.

Her mother said: “Al­though she finds it hard to ac­cept, she is just bril­liant and amazes the staff. But we are des­per­ate to get away and can­not re­turn to my mother’s home in Ken­ning­ton as it is un­suit­able.

“So­phie is very so­cia­ble and all the time we are in the hospi­tal there is the dan­ger of her pick­ing up in­fec­tion from other sick chil­dren that could be fa­tal, so we go out with per­mis­sion when­ever pos­si­ble.”

Ms Farmer has been on Ash­ford coun­cil’s hous­ing wait­ing list since her daugh­ter was born. Now with sup­port from both her GP and hospi­tal con­sul­tant she has max­i­mum points.

“Fam­ily and friends have been great but we do have spe­cial needs like ground floor ac­com­mo­da­tion and need to be within easy reach of the hospi­tal to deal with the emer­gen­cies So­phie has.

“All they have been able to of­fer so far is bed and break­fast ac­com­mo­da­tion as a home­less fam­ily and that is clearly not suit­able, so we are stuck.”

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1206776

Ge­orgina Farmer with her daugh­ter So­phie


Ge­orgina Farmer with her daugh­ter So­phie

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