Helping youngsters to feel happier as they fight disease

Niamh and her mum Hayley at Luton and Dunstable Hospital
Niamh and her mum Hayley at Luton and Dunstable Hospital

The Luton and Dunstable Hospital Charitable Fund is raising money to renovate the child oncology rooms at the hospital.

The Children’s Oncology Room project aims to convert two side rooms on the children’s ward into welcoming specialist treatment rooms for patients, so they feel happier having to spend time in the rooms.

Niamh and her mum Hayley at Luton and Dunstable Hospital

Niamh and her mum Hayley at Luton and Dunstable Hospital

The children that will use the rooms are being treated for Cancer or Leukaemia and will stay in isolation rooms when they come in for treatment to minimise the risk of infection.

Three-year-old Niamh Dawson, of Luton, was diagnosed with Leukaemia at the start of the year, she is an oncology patient at the hospital. Her mum Hayley said: “Everything happened so quickly and we soon realised that the L&D was going to become our second home for the next few years.

“It is amazing that they can always put us in this room to make sure Niamh is safe but the room itself is so depressing. It is so hot and cramped in the room.

“The new rooms will be absolutely amazing, to have more child friendly rooms, with colours and to be able to control the temperature in the room would make such a huge difference to us all.

“It must sound so silly to everyone but the temperature has been the most awful thing for us.

“When Niamh has a fever we desperately have to try and keep her cool but there isn’t any air conditioning and the room is so full of other equipment we can’t bring a big fan in.

“The staff on the children’s ward are fantastic and we couldn’t be happier with the care she gets but the room where she gets treated could be so much better and it would have such an impact on her time at the L&D.

“We care supporting the appeal for the refurbishments of the children’s oncology rooms and we really hope you will too!”

The hospital wants to transform the rooms into inviting, colourful, interactive and spacious areas.

Sarah Newby, head of fundraising, said: “Refurbishing the oncology rooms on the children’s ward is a really exciting project to be involved with and is exactly what the L&D Charity was set up to do.

We want to make the rooms the best they can be for all our children and their families who have to spend time in them. We want them to be homely and comfortable and not a place people dread having to stay in.

“We want them to have the necessary equipment to help distract the children when they are feeling really poorly and frustrated. We want them to have individual temperature controls so that each family can make the room as comfortable as possible for them and their child.”

The project will cost £150,000, the hospital’s charity has already raised £60,000. To make a donation call 01582 718289 or text PONC99 £5 to 70070, or visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/childoncology.