Home  >  News  >  Baldrick helps patients at St George’s thanks to family’s £20,000 fundraising triumph

Baldrick helps patients at St George’s thanks to family’s £20,000 fundraising triumph

5th July 2017

A family from Hampshire have raised £20,000 for St George’s Hospital Charity to buy a vital piece of equipment which enables Speech and Language Therapists to assess a patient’s ability to swallow.

Ellie Clayden and her sons Richard and Christopher, along with the local community, raised the money for St George’s Neuro Intensive Care Unit after Ellie’s husband Tom suffered a sudden and unexpected bleed into the brain on 29th April 2012. He was taken to the Neuro ITU at St Georges Hospital where he was treated and looked after until he passed away peacefully on the 6th May.

Ellie said: “The staff on the Neuro ITU looked after Tom as if he was one of their own. They showed compassion, dignity and tenderness throughout his stay on the unit, and provided invaluable support to me through the hardest week of my life.

“Tom was a truly wonderful person and as well as being my most loving husband he was also my best friend. I miss him more that I could ever have imagined. He was the most fantastic daddy to Richard and Christopher and we had the greatest times together as a family. We have many wonderful memories to help us through the difficult and sad times that lie ahead and wanted to honour those memories by donating to the Neuro ITU at St George’s.”

Ellie’s fundraising has enabled the purchase of a Naso Pharyngo Laryngoscope and associated equipment which enables Speech and Language Therapists to conduct an exam called Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES).  This is used to monitor symptoms in a patient’s recovery such as the ability to swallow. It is especially helpful for patients in ITU and those who undergo a tracheostomy.

The family have called the piece of equipment Baldrick because of Tom’s love of the show. Ellie added: “Tom always had a great sense of humour – he loved watching Blackadder and would often say “I have a cunning plan” when he meant “I have no idea” or “It’s like a bag of grapefruits” meaning “it’s all gone horribly wrong”.”

Katherine Aubrey, Principal Speech and Language Therapist at St George’s, said: “This is a vital piece of state of the art equipment allowing us to comprehensively assess people’s swallowing at the bedside We use it at least weekly, so having one available to use with our patients instead of having to loan it from other departments is invaluable. The ability to eat and drink is vital to a patient’s rehabilitation and quality of life.  We are also using it to train more SLTs to conduct FEES.”

St George’s Hospital Charity exists to support the patients and staff of St George’s Hospital Tooting and Queen Mary’s Hospital Roehampton, as well as community services in south west London. The charity works to enhance the patient experience through supporting new equipment, facilities, research, training and education.

Noel Cramer, director of fundraising and marketing, said:  “A huge thank you to Ellie, Richard and Christopher and all of those who have donated and worked so hard to enable us to buy this hugely important piece of equipment.

“It’s down to the generosity of supporters that we are able to continue raising vital funds which will have a real impact on both patients and staff.”

Website by Adept