£15,800 donation in memory of schoolgirl will help save more lives
FUNDING WILL PAY FOR VITAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
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.
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.