Oxford Children's Hospital celebrates five years of care

9:00am Friday 17th February 2012

By Amanda Williams

FROM bruises and broken bones to life saving treatment, Oxford Children’s Hospital has picked up the county’s children every time they have fallen for the past five years.

Now, as it celebrates its birthday, the hospital would like to thank YOU for the unfailing support which has helped it improve the lives of about 400,000 patients since it opened.

The doors to Oxford Children’s Hospital – known as Chox – opened in 2007, with the first young patients moving in over the third weekend of February.

In that time £500,000 of your money raised by table top sales, abseils and the Oxford Mail-sponsored OX5 Run, has helped transform lives.

Ward assistants Kate Barber and Theresa King, who moved with the hospital from the much-loved, but slightly rundown, wards of the Old Radcliffe Infirmary, to the bright, spacious and colourful wards of the new hospital, are today among those thanking the public for its selfless help.

Ms King said: “We would all just like to say thank you very much. Without your help we wouldn’t have this wonderful hospital here today.”

More than £15m was raised to help build Chox, in a campaign backed by the Oxford Mail, with £3.2m coming straight from the efforts of the community, allowing classrooms, indoor and outdoor play areas, and family areas and such as parent beds to be included in the design.

All of these things go over and above what the NHS offers as standard.

But the hospital still needs your help.

Hospital fundraiser Penny Hambridge said: “It’s incredible to think that this wonderful hospital is already five years old and important to remember that without the help of the local community we simply wouldn’t have been able to build it.

“The public’s support remains vital today as we continue to need to raise funds to provide the very latest medical equipment and the very best play, sensory and distraction items for all the children treated here – from the tiniest of newborns through to teenagers.

“Every year thousands of local people get involved with fundraising for hospital, from fun runs to abseils, cake sales to golf days – the enthusiasm of the hospital’s supporters is continually inspiring and we are so grateful for what they all do.”

Head of Major Gifts Andrew House added: “To mark the fifth birthday of the hospital we are encouraging people to become regular donors to the hospital charity as this will help us to continue to make it as comfortable and well equipped as possible for our young patients.

“Some of the equipment we have been able to provide is quite simply life-saving, and many other items make a child’s time in hospital a more positive experience.”

If 500 people donated £5 a month over the next five years that would raise nearly £200,000.

And if 500 people donated £20 a month over five years nearly £800,000 would be collected.

To find out more about how you can support Oxford Children’s Hospital email charity@ouh.nhs.uk call 01865 743444 or visit the website at www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk

IN 2007 teenager Luke Dickety was among the first young patients through the doors of Oxford Children’s Hospital.

At the tender age of 12 he had already been receiving treatment for a life-threatening tumour in his head for three years.

Now, after countless operations and overnight stays, Luke, 17, can wish the hospital which has put him back on the road to health a happy birthday.

Luke, from Bicester, said: “Without any one of the people who has been involved in my care, there is a chance I could not be here. It’s a scary thought.

I’d like to say thank you both to the staff, and to the people who have raised the money who make the stay there better.”

His mother Carol Mackay added: “Thank you is the only thing you can say really.

“What else can you say to the people that have saved your child’s life.”

Last year, Luke presented fireman Gary Crone with the winner’s trophy at the Oxford Mail OX5 Run.

FORMER news TV presenter Katie Ledger, from Chalgrove, has been taking son Max to Oxford Children’s Hospital hospital for two-and-a-half years.

The seven-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) when he was four and in that time the Great Milton School pupil has undergone regular treatment.

Mother-of-two Ms Ledger said: “When we were told Max had leukaemia life just kind of stood still.

“But it helps to speak to other parents who are going through the same things, and to put your own situation into perspective.

“I challenge anyone who has spent any time in Kamran’s Ward, which is the cancer ward at the hospital, to not leave a changed person.”

Max is coming to the end of his treatment and is due to leave the care of the hospital in November.

Ms Ledger said: “I really know what difference donations can make.

“Everything at the hospital is designed around the needs of children and there are fantastic facilities which really help when you are going through such a difficult time.”

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