£15,800 do­na­tion in me­mory of school­girl will help save more lives


Grimsby Telegraph - - News - By Peter Craig peter.craig@reach­plc.com

A DO­NA­TION of more than £15,000 of med­i­cal equip­ment will en­sure the me­mory of tragic Laura McPhee lives on. Nine-year-old Laura, pic­tured, from Hum­ber­ston, suf­fered a car­diac ar­rest brought on by an asthma at­tack in 2010. It was dur­ing the heavy snow­fall that year and the am­bu­lance ser­vice was not able to reach her in time due to the con­di­tions.

Fol­low­ing years of fundrais­ing for the Laura McPhee Memo­rial Fund through dona­tions, spon­sored bike rides and sky­dives, sev­eral de­fib­ril­la­tors have been bought in me­mory of the Hum­ber­ston school­girl.

The Fund has raised more than £90,000 to pro­vide med­i­cal equip­ment to the lo­cal area, in part­ner­ship with the Diana, Princess Of Wales Hos­pi­tal and East Mid­lands Am­bu­lance Ser­vice.

The lat­est do­na­tion of £15,800 was given to the Diana, Princess Of Wales Hos­pi­tal Health Tree Foun­da­tion to en­able them to buy pae­di­atric res­pi­ra­tory equip­ment which can be used by fam­i­lies of asthma suf­fer­ers and com­mu­nity nurs­ing teams. They now have a new baby ap­noea mon­i­tor, hand-held sat­u­ra­tion mon­i­tors which check oxy­gen lev­els and suc­tion mon­i­tors. Staff in the spe­cial­ist chil­dren’s res­pi­ra­tory depart­ment said the do­na­tion had moved the res­pi­ra­tory ser­vice to North East Lin­colnshire fam­i­lies for­ward. Con­sul­tant Dr Zul­fiqar Haider said Grimsby hos­pi­tal is the envy of many gen­eral hos­pi­tals in pro­vid­ing a first-class pae­di­atric asthma ser­vice.

“I am ab­so­lutely grate­ful for this fan­tas­tic do­na­tion. I can­not thank Trace and the fund enough,” he said.

He added: “It will make a huge dif­fer­ence in the di­ag­no­sis and man­age­ment of chil­dren with asthma.”

The con­sul­tant said he is em­bark­ing with his team to spread greater aware­ness of asthma in the com­mu­nity, first by ed­u­cat­ing more GP prac­tices on the mod­ern treat­ments and then ed­u­cat­ing more school teach­ers on how to recog­nise and re­spond prop­erly to chil­dren with asthma. Laura’s mum Trace said: “When Laura was at school her in­halers were locked away. She was gasp­ing some days.”

She added: “We hope peo­ple will keep do­nat­ing to the fund so we can keep sav­ing lives and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to chil­dren’s lives. It is do­ing some­thing re­ally good. Laura would have loved all this. She would have been tak­ing pho­tos of it all. She was a real char­ac­ter.”

She said a to­tal of 12 de­fib­ril­la­tors will be in­stalled in key lo­ca­tions around North East Lin­colnshire and sur­round­ing ar­eas. Eight have so far been put in place with four more yet to be in­stalled.

The doc­tor said he was par­tic­u­larly grate­ful for the FeNo (frac­tional ex­haled ni­tric ox­ide) mon­i­tor which will be used by the nurs­ing team in­clud­ing Linda Smith, Me­gan Gut­teridge, neo-na­tal com­mu­nity nurse, Claire Wool­liss and ad­vanced health care as­sis­tant with the com­mu­nity nurs­ing team Teresa Fuller.

Linda said the new equip­ment will be used for young asthma pa­tients and for chil­dren on ven­ti­la­tors and those with life-lim­it­ing con­di­tions in their own homes.

Dr Haider said the tell-tales signs that par­ents or car­ers need to look out for are, if a child is cough­ing and wheez­ing in re­sponse to ex­er­cise or ex­er­tion and if they are cough­ing and wheez­ing af­ter laugh­ing or be­com­ing dis­tressed.

The other signs are if they cough in re­sponse to cold out­side and if they cough and wheeze dur­ing the night or early hours of the morn­ing.

Such symp­toms sug­gest a child’s asthma is not be­ing prop­erly con­trolled and needs to be re­ferred to the doc­tor's clinic, he said. The Fund has also do­nated a new de­fib­ril­la­tor for res­i­dents in New Hol­land. East Mid­lands Am­bu­lance Ser­vice op­er­a­tions man­ager, Steve Prat­ten thanked at the do­na­tion at New Hol­land Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Pic­ture: Rick Byrne

Above, Trace McPhee presents Dr Zul­fiqar Haider, and Linda Smith, fourth left, chil­dren’s com­mu­nity res­pi­ra­tory spe­cial­ist nurse, with the new equip­ment at the Child De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre, at the Diana, Princess Of Wales Hos­pi­tal, Grimsby. Look­ing on are, Deb­bie Tay­lor, third left, Laura McPhee Memo­rial Fund com­mit­tee mem­ber, Me­gan Gut­teridge, chil­dren’s com­mu­nity res­pi­ra­tory spe­cial­ist nurse, Claire Wool­liss, se­nior staff nurse neona­tal com­mu­nity nurse, and Teresa Fuller, ad­vanced health­care as­sis­tant on the Chil­dren’s Com­mu­nity Nurs­ing Team.

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