Thanks to a huge fundraising effort from the local community and other donors, children receiving treatment for cancer at the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) will now be cared for in a suite of newly refurbished rooms which have been specially designed to make their stay as comfortable as possible.
Children between the ages of one and 16 with cancer or leukaemia are admitted to the Children’s Wards at the L&D for ongoing treatment which can last from several months to years. Those with leukaemia are on a treatment programme of 2-3 years and during that time they may require hospital admission every month in addition to attendances for day procedures such as transfusions. An admission lasts on average 3-4 days and in some cases lasts months.
These young patients have to be treated in isolation, because of their very high risk of infection, so they have no access to the paediatric play room, teaching room or communal facilities. Having to spend time in hospital, whether it’s a day or a month, is distressing for everyone, but for children it is even harder.
The newly refurbished suite has created a third more space, and the rooms have been specially designed to adapt to children of different ages, with storage for toys, as well as space on the floor marked as a play area. There is also adjustable lighting so that children suffering with light sensitivity due to treatment or their condition are not stuck in a room with halogen lighting. There is also a small integrated kitchenette and sofa bed so that parents can stay with their child, as well as a movable desk so parents can work on a laptop.
Sarah Amexheta, Head of Fundraising at the L&D, said: “These rooms offer superb new facilities which we hope will inspire hope and comfort for the families who are going through such a difficult time. The year-long project has been funded through the hospital charity by generous donations in the community, from local supermarkets and grant giving trusts and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us and helped make it happen.”
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