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New Relatives Room opens at St George’s Hospital’s General Intensive Care Unit

5th March 2018

A new Relatives Room has opened in the General Intensive Care Unit (GICU) at St George’s Hospital in Tooting thanks to charitable fundraising.

Molly’s Smile Fund have raised £75,000 for a range of projects and officially opened the new room yesterday.  Molly’s Smile Fund is named after the iconic smile of Molly Burdett who sadly died in 2015, aged 19.

The Relatives Room is located close to the intensive care beds which mean that visitors can be close at hand when supporting a very poorly relative, and have access to a bright space with colourful furniture, information screens, and tea/coffee facilities. This means that relatives have a space in which to have family conversations and speak with medical staff, or simply somewhere to sit and rest.

At the opening event the relative of a patient who has been in GICU for five weeks expressed his family’s heartfelt appreciation of the space which allowed them to be close at hand, but to have space to sit and talk with family.

Molly was taken to St George’s Hospital after becoming unwell with a sore throat, headache and badly blocked nose, and difficulty breathing. She was firstly diagnosed with glandular fever, but a week later following a cardiac arrest, ventilation and sepsis the family was told she had a life- threatening disease, Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare blood disease that destroys and attacks anything and everything indiscriminately and unpredictably, causing multiple organ failure.

Despite battling for six gruelling weeks on life support, enduring chemotherapy and complex critical care, Molly died on 1 July 2015.

A week after her death, Molly’s Smile Fund was launched by her family to raise money for St George’s Hospital GICU and Histio UK with the aim of directly benefiting patients and their families using the GICU and towards research for care and cure of HLH.

Molly’s mum, Jane Burdett, said: “The GICU became our home as we watched unrivalled dedication from teams of specialists, nurses and supporting staff as they fought so hard to save Molly's life. We set up Molly's Smile Fund as a beautiful and lasting legacy to, and in memory of an undiluted gorgeous girl.

“We have chosen to support the St George's GICU charity and funds raised will be utilized to provide additional resources for the dedicated teams of highly trained critical care professionals with anything that will enhance the already amazing care they provide. We would also like to further improve the difficult and highly stressful GICU experience for patients and their families. This will keep Molly smiling.”

Noel Cramer, director of fundraising for St George’s Hospital Charity, said: “A huge thank you to all those who have made this possible; especially Molly’s Smile Fund, who have worked tirelessly over the past three years. This room is already making a real difference for families and illustrates the power of local communities to provide impactful new facilities at their local hospital for the benefit of others.”

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