Gareth Smith has been back to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to say ‘thank you’ for saving his life when he was just one day old.
Gareth nominated the hospital’s Children’s Charity as GB’s charity of the month for July as his way of saying thank you for the life-saving operation performed by surgeons after it was discovered he had been born without an oesophagus.
The oesophagus is also known as the gullet or food pipe which connects the mouth to the stomach.
I would have died
Says Gareth: “I was very young and don’t really remember anything about it, but I was told later that I would have died if the op had not been a success. When we were asked if we would like to nominate a charity for our £400 monthly donation to go to I couldn’t think of a more fitting place.
“Visiting the hospital to make the presentation was a real eye-opener. The old hospital was a big scary Victorian type building, but the new one is brilliant – so light and airy – and very welcoming,” he added.
Alder Hey Hospital is a world famous centre of excellence in child medicine and while the medical side is run by an NHS foundation trust, the charity does vital work in providing additional facilities and equipment for the 275,000 patients and families they deal with each year.
Since 2013 they have raised over £22 million for a range of life-saving medical equipment and facilities. One major project is the Institute In The Park – the development of a new state of the art research and innovation facility attached to the hospital.
One of the latest innovations is to print children’s X-rays in 3-D so surgeons can use them as a guide when performing their operations. They are also developing the use of 3-D printers to create accurate models of the particular area surgeons will be working on so they can practice the procedure before starting the real operation.
Next generation technology is also being used to develop applications which will reduce stress and anxiety for the children throughout their stay and help distract them during procedures.
Charity fund raiser Allan Eves said: “On behalf of Alder Hey Children’s Charity I would like to say thank you to everyone at Gladstone Brookes for their kind donation. Donations will go towards our new ‘Institute in the Park’ which is allowing Alder Hey to develop better medicines and treatments and significantly contribute to the future health and wellbeing of children from right across the globe. With their help, we can build a better future for children and young people everywhere.”
- For more information about the charity’s work contact then on https://www.alderheycharity.org/ or connect with them on Twitter @AlderHey.