Lots of paediatric patients to benefit thanks to kind donations from local fundraisers - 06 January 2015

Lots of paediatric patients to benefit thanks to kind donations from local fundraisers - 06 January 2015

The children’s unit at Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital has really benefited recently from three separate, but hugely generous donations which included new toys, Ipads and a financial donation.

Joe Laoutaris is a young cancer patient currently receiving treatment on Oak Ward at the hospital. He attends King Alfred School in Highbridge, but has spent a large amount of time on the children’s unit during his treatment.

Picture 2 Joe Laoutaris Fundraising

Joe’s school friend Robin McCord decided he wanted to support the hospital and organised and took part in his own fundraising event to raise money for Oak Ward. On Saturday 25th October, during his half term holiday, Robin ran for three miles, followed by a three mile cycle ride which

ended at Burnham-on-Sea rugby ground. There was a cake sale at the finish line, again with the proceeds going to Oak Ward. In total Robin and his school friends raised £1665.81 on behalf of Joe and for the benefit of other patients like him.

Suzanne Pilkington, matron for children’s service said; “This was a brilliant achievement for the children, they were very focused in their goal and what a fantastic result and reward for us here at the children’s unit at Musgrove. We are looking at buying some kind of duke box or musicality equipment with the money they raised, that will fit in our area here within the children’s oncology area. We can’t thank the boys enough.”

Kali and Kevin Gilbert’s little girl Tayen is three years old, and is also a regular patient on the children’s unit. She suffers with Neurofibromatosis (NF1), a condition that means she has a large brain tumour, extending through her brain, as well as optic pathway gliomas (tumours) on both optic nerves. Tayen has lost her sight because of these tumours and also needs to have regular chemotherapy to stabilise them.

Kali and Kevin along with Tayen’s three brothers set up ‘Tayen’s Journey’ a charity in her name to raise money and awareness about NF1. With money raised by Tayen’s charity they were able to buy and donate four ‘Wheely Bug’ ride on toys, worth around £250 to Acorn Ward in the hospital.

Picture 1 Tayens Journey

Kali Gilbert, Tayen’s mum said; “Tayen absolutely loves her Wheely Bug at home, it gives her lots of enjoyment, even with her full vision loss. They are easy to clean for hygiene reasons, and will give children on Acorn Ward the freedom to move around the hospital, whilst also being fun to touch and with vivid colours. The ward staff have been fabulous to us and we wanted to give something special back. These Wheely bugs will definitely put a smile on lots of children’s faces.” 

Finally, local businessman Dave Williams from Approved Air, has donated two brand new Ipads to the play specialist team on the Children’s Unit at Musgrove Park Hospital.
Dave was on the unit while his son Jack was undergoing surgery, and he decided to donate the Ipads after seeing how useful they are to patients, in particular those with more complex needs. 

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Picture 1 – Pictured are staff from the children’s unit with Joe Laoutaris and his school friends.

Picture 2  – Tayen’s journey. Pictured is staff from the children’s unit with Tayen and her parents Kali and Kevin Gilbert.

Picture 3 - Dave Williams donates two, new Ipads.