Generous gift to Fetal Cardiology Department to help many families
Above image: Flossie, now recovered, with her family
Our Fetal Cardiology Department will soon have two new family counselling rooms thanks to vital support from The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation.
The new space will be used by staff as a place to speak to families about the condition of their unborn child, so they can reflect and make decisions together about treatment.
Improving experiences during difficult times
The Foundation’s generous donation will help create the rooms as part of the redevelopment of the Fetal Cardiology Unit. The overall aim is to improve the experience for expectant parents at what can be a very difficult time.
Our young heart patients are monitored in the unit before they’re even born. An expectant mother can be referred from the fourteenth week of pregnancy if early scans suggest abnormalities to the baby’s heart. Parents in this situation will of course have many questions and concerns, so a nurse counsellor together with a consultant fetal cardiologist are available to provide support and guidance throughout the pregnancy, as well as after the baby has been born and becomes an inpatient.
During this difficult time, a tranquil, quiet space inside the hospital is vital, to allow the parents to hear and understand the often detailed explanations about their baby’s condition.
Helping patients like Flossie, and their families
The family of two-year-old Flossie are all too familiar with this process.
Sophie and Rob Malloy were referred to the department 20 weeks into Sophie’s pregnancy, when Flossie was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect. This serious diagnosis required careful explanation, including detailed planning for further monitoring before birth and treatment plans for after delivery.
Having the best environment possible for parents in positions similar to Sophie and Rob really does make a difference to their experience.
‘When you initially hear that your child has a condition that is serious enough to be treated in a specialist hospital, you worry,’ says Rob. ‘But we felt so reassured throughout Flossie’s treatment. The staff were unbelievable, and genuinely cared.’
As soon as she was born, Flossie became an inpatient on the unit where she underwent a procedure to prepare her for corrective heart surgery. It was 17 days before Flossie was strong enough for the surgery, which for her parents was a period of anxiously waiting and hoping for news.
Thankfully, Flossie’s six-hour operation was a success. She recovered well and grew in strength by the hour. After just five days she was well enough to go home.
Providing the best environment
The rooms made possible by this generous donation will be entirely private and designed to be a non-clinical, calming environment. They will provide the ideal space for families to receive the reassurance and support they need, just like Sophie and Rob did.
Donations from our supporters, no matter how big or small, really do make such a difference. Find out more about the ways you can support Evelina London.