Anna was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at four weeks old. Since then she has been under the wonderful CF team at North Hampshire Hospital. They have looked after Anna and the whole family since day one and we could not ask for more.
Children with CF have intense daily regimes to keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Anna has a daily regime of antibiotics, nebulisers, over 30 tablets a day and twice daily physiotherapy which increases to four when she is unwell. The children often have to have two week admissions to hospital for intravenous antibiotics to fight infections.
At the beginning of January 2011, Anna was admitted to hospital for 2 weeks for IV antibiotics and her daily regime then increased to 4 lots of IV’s, 6 nebulizers and 4 physio sessions every day. We were introduced to a vibrating vest which the physio department had on loan to trial. Anna used it every day and although it is a very intensive form of physio, Anna tolerated it very well and even enjoyed it! This was much better than easier than other forms of physio and took the stress away for that session. The problem was the vest and machine were only on loan and cost £7,000 to buy!
Knowing what a huge difference a vibrating vest could make to the patients, parents and staff of North Hants Hospital meant we could not just stand back and let the vibrating vest be returned without doing something about it… and Anna’s Challenges was born.
Since then with the amazing support we have had from local people, local companies and schools, we have been able to raise funds to help purchase equipment that the CF Team at Basingstoke Hospital doesn’t have the budget to pay for. We have been able to fund the following:
Ipads for G Floor, Play Team, CDU, CCN’s for distraction during unpleasant procedures and entertainment during admissions.
Educational laptop to help children who are admitted during school time to keep up with school work they are missing.
Funded nurses and physios to attend CF specialised courses to further their knowledge and skills
Funded the CF team to attend the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference
Decorated the Assessment Room – to an amazing underwater scene that helps provide comfort and distraction
CF Sibling Support Group – sadly children with CF can’t mix due to cross infection risks but life is tough for all the family including their siblings too so the wonderful play team take them out a few times a year for a fun activities including chocolate making workshop, pantomimes, bowling etc which we fund.
Family Days out so that families living with CF can have some quality time together.
Physiotherapy toys and equipment to aid physio sessions both at home and in hospital – and also to make the sessions a bit more fun!
Medical equipment including start of the art SATS monitors and a Hi Flow Machine
Activity Grants to encourage children with CF to be more active with out of school activity classes. Travel Grants to help towards specialist appointments at other hospitals further away.
Being stuck in the same room for 2 weeks is tough, so to make the room more of a home from home, we have donated mini fridges, small table and chairs for the child, TV’s and DVD players.
We provide 2 vouchers each time a family has an admission to help the family have some quality time at the weekends – choice of vouchers include bowling, cinema, restaurant and toy shop.
Toys, Books, DVD’s for the play team, X Box Kinect in the hospital to help with physio sessions during admissions.
CF Craft Trolley to help keep the children entertained during admissions
Furnished the Parents Room on G Floor, CF Cookery Demonstrations and Cook book.
That covers most of how we help the local families that attend the North Hampshire Hospital but we are lead by the CF team so anything that can really help a child or family we are very happy to help with!
We can only do this with the fantastic support we receive from everyone and we couldn’t be more grateful!!
We have done many ‘challenges’ since we started, varying from half marathons, full marathons, swimming in the River Thames, coffee mornings, and much more! The money raised so far has enabled us to buy lots of equipment and toys for the CF team and the Play Specialists on the children’s ward at the hospital. This includes an Airway Clearance System which was our first goal and cost £7,000. Lots of the equipment and toys purchased are used to help the children with their daily physiotherapy both at home and while admitted at hospital. You can see more about the items we’ve donated on our ‘blog’ page.
If you would like to take part in an event on behalf of Anna’s Challenges, make a donation or sponsor somebody who is already doing something for us, you will find all you need on this site. Why not go to our ‘Events’ page and see what events we have planned for the future? If you would like to participate, please let us know!
We also have information on Cystic Fibrosis if you would like to learn more and also read stories from other parents of children with CF here.
You can read more about Anna’s Challenges and why we started the charity on the ‘About Us’ page and why not keep up with our latest news on our blog. If you would like to contact us please do so by clicking here.