Children’s Ward receives vital medical equipment thanks to Basildon donations

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VITAL medical equipment for poorly children is now ready to use thanks to generous donations by Basildon residents.

Cllr David Harrison, Mayor of Basildon, attended Basildon Hospital on Tuesday to officially present Optiflow respiratory equipment to the Wagtail Children’s Ward.

The Wagtail Ward cares for children and young people who need to stay in hospital for medical and surgical care, as well as youngsters with longer term illnesses such as cystic fibrosis and cancer.

Cllr Harrison announced he would donate £2,350 to the hospital to fund the equipment at a Full Council meeting in December.

The Mayor’s other chosen charity for 2016/17, Lukes Counselling Service, which is operated by St Luke’s Hospice, received the same amount.

Cllr Harrison said: “I’m delighted to see this equipment in place and ready to use on the Wagtail Ward.

“Being able to present something which will make a tremendous difference to the children treated here really makes our year of fundraising so worthwhile.

“This would not have been possible without a huge amount of generosity and dedication from so many individuals and groups across Basildon borough and beyond.”

The Optiflow respiratory equipment provides oxygen therapy to treat young children who suffer from breathing problems.

Suzanne Reynolds, paediatric matron at Basildon Hospital, said: “The Optiflow machines have transformed the way we nurse children with breathing difficulties, such as asthma.

“We are very grateful to benefit from the Mayor’s charity. It makes such a difference to our young patients to have plenty of these machines, as the earlier they can use them when needed, the better their chances of recovery.

“We are also now using Optiflow equipment for premature babies in our neonatal unit.”

In total, more than £15,000 has been raised so far in 2016/17 as a result of various fundraising initiatives which have been held across the borough in aid of the Mayor’s charities.

Cllr Harrison hopes to be able to use some of the funds to pay for equipment for the oncology treatment room on the Wagtail Ward.

The year’s activities will culminate with the Mayor’s Charity Dinner, which will take place on Friday, 31 March.

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