As we all gear up for the festive season, buying presents, planning something special for Christmas Day or just looking forward to being surrounded by people that we love, other families are planning to spend the day without one of their loved ones. While we all take for granted the joys of Christmas shopping or visiting Santa’s Grotto, there are some parents or children facing spending the holiday season in a hospital bed.
Last Christmas The Eve Merton Dreams Trust were contacted by a father who was concerned his 6yr old daughter Jodie was set to spend a 2nd Christmas Day without her mother. As Jodie’s mother was unfortunately being treated for Leukaemia and not able leave the Haematology ward due to risk of infection. The Trust were able to surprise both Jodie and her mother with a special visit from Santa Claus himself bearing gifts. This enabled a mother and daughter to share something we all take for granted and open presents together at Christmas.
During last year’s Dream Request the Trust were alerted to a wider problem. The majority of patients on Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s Haematology Ward (Ward 18) are long term patients, some of which stay for a number of months as they complete treatment. During this time they are extremely cut off from the outside world and due to the risk of infection they are unable to leave, with visitors kept to a minimum. As you can imagine this is a difficult period for every patient on the ward, separated from family with just the same 4 walls as company for months on end, some of which have no contact with the outside world at all with all with only staff and day to day hospital life to keep them company.
The Nurses on Ward 18 came to the Trust with an idea, could they supply the ward and its patients with the means to access the internet, to be able to Skype family members at home, do their Christmas shopping from their hospital bed or just break up the monotony of their daily experience. To the Trust this was a chance to answer a Dream for dozens, if not hundreds of Doncaster’s Cancer patients over the coming years. To assist them with this they enlisted the help of One Call Insurance Managing Director Nik Springthorpe and his willing staff who have spent the last year fundraising across a range of separate in-house events.
Nik Springthorpe, Managing Director of One Call Insurance said, “One Call insurance is so proud to be supporting The Eve Merton Dreams Trust and contribute our 2014 fundraising to this worthy Cause. I was fortunate enough to meet the Eve Merton Team and the fantastic nursing staff on the ward yesterday. They introduced us to Caroline who is about to start her 3rd course of treatment on the Ward. She explained how patients will have minimal to no contact with family or friends during their treatment as they are extremely exposed to life threatening infection. Caroline explained how the iPads will make her 5 weeks much more bearable, enabling her to keep in contact with her children and family via Skype. For One Call’s staff to know that they are making such a huge difference to the lives of patients and their families in such difficult circumstances can only inspire them to do more.”
Now, this Christmas, with the help of One Call’s fundraising and Doncaster based company Ninehundred Communications Group providing the necessary equipment to make it all possible, the Eve Merton Dreams Trust will provide Ward 18 with fully Internet ready iPad Air’s. Patients will now be able to Skype their children or family on Christmas Day, they’ll be able to complete their own Christmas shopping and watch their children happily open their presents.
Kayleigh Sutton, Ward 18 Nurse said, “I’ve been in with a patient who’s using one of the iPad’s today. She’s been face timing her sons and skyping her sister abroad, it’s the first time since she’s been in I’ve seen her smiling and laughing!! Seeing her chatting away laughing, smiling and playing games on it has been lovely. It’s so nice to be a part of this side of things for the patients! So thank you from me”.