Happy Halloween celebrations, thanks to donations
A spooky shin-dig took place at Evelina London on Saturday 29 October, when patients and their families gathered for the Halloween party of the year!
The celebration was held by the ear, nose and throat (ENT) service especially for tracheostomy patients, and was made possible thanks to generous donations.
It gave families of children who are either living with or have previously had a tracheostomy a chance to meet, share experiences and celebrate.
A tracheostomy is a small plastic tube which is inserted into the windpipe to form an artificial airway for people with breathing difficulties. It can affect aspects of a child’s life that are usually a normal part of development, such as speaking, so it’s invaluable for children and their families to be able able to socialise with others in a similar situation.
‘It’s an opportunity for the children who have such a long journey in hospital to meet kids who are a bit further along in the process,’ explains Vicky Powell, ENT nurse specialist. ‘Many children have moved on beyond their experience of having had a tracheostomy or are living a normal life outside of hospital with it. So getting them together helps those who have recently gone through it to see light at the end of the tunnel, and that life won’t be just hospitals and appointments for them forever.’
One-year-old twins Blake and Ryan were there with their mum and dad, Ellé and Damien.
After having an emergency tracheostomy at a local hospital, Blake was transferred to Evelina London for specialist care. He has a condition which means his airway is narrow and so it's difficult for him to breathe.
‘It’s such a good idea to organise something like this,’ says Ellé. ‘It’s nice for us to see older children who’ve had similar difficulties just being normal kids. I can see it’s not stopping them from having fun and it’s giving us hope for Blake in the future.’
Children and their families enjoyed a full day of celebrations including live entertainment, a tea party, face painting, crafts and a fun photobooth. There were some fantastic fancy dress efforts from everyone, including the staff!
2016 was the second year running that the ENT service have been able to throw a party like this with the help of donations. If you’d like to help provide amazing extra experiences like this for our young patients, there are lots of ways you can support – find out more.
Above right image: Blake and Ryan with their mum and dad, Ellé and Damien.