How did you spend your morning yesterday? Well we had a wonderful morning sharing breakfast with Alder Hey’s ‘Superheroes’ in an event organised by The Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
It’s no secret that we’ve spent most of the year doing our best to fundraise for Alder Hey. From our 80 Day World Tour Challenge to baking and kayaking across Coniston we’ve pushed ourselves to the limit this year. Fortunately for us, our fundraising hasn’t gone unnoticed and Alder Hey were kind enough to invite us to their ‘Superhero’ Breakfast. We mingled with other the superheroes who – like us – have special fundraising powers. Other parties invited to attend were local promotors, partners and even brain surgeons. It was an event brought together to share how the fundraising has helped the hospital so far this year and how partnerships with the children’s hospital can progress.
After diving into the bacon butties we heard from Benadetta Pettorini, one of the Paediatric Neurosurgery Consultant’s (brain surgeon to you and I). She explained how the funding from the NHS and the Hospital is only a small proportion of what they need to progress and keep up to date with the latest technology advancements.
Fundraising this year has so far helped pay for an endoscopic camera which helps surgeons remove tumours in potentially fatal places on the brain. The procedure is now ‘fairly’ straightforward, has helped develop brain surgery and shortened recovery time of patients, the example Benadetta gave was of a young boy, who no later than 24 hours later was out of hospital and back sitting his GCSEs. A remarkable feat, considering he’d had brain surgery the day before.
Next to take the stand was Nick Atkins, the product owner at Shop Direct. His part to play wasn’t to show how the fundraising has helped Alder Hey, but rather how Shop Direct’s partnership has helped Alder Hey. They’re currently in the process of developing a patient app for the children. Nowadays as everybody has smart phones or tablets, they thought to help the children feel more relaxed and positive about being in hospital they could develop an app. Which of course, would welcome them back every time they return to Alder Hey. It’s all about familiarising the children with being in hospital and creating a space where children aren’t scared to return.
In his talk Nick spoke about the advancement of AI technology and the important part it can play in the hospital for both patients and doctors. For example, we were given the privilege of testing out the new Virtual Innovation Centre, a room dedicated to virtual technology. Surgeons and doctors can now access fully virtual hearts with the use of the augmented reality headsets you’ll have seen popular phone companies selling. Surgeons can walk through the heart and see exactly what the problems are, diagnose quicker, more efficiently and also improve success rates of surgery.
After listening to and taking part in everything the Superhero Breakfast had to offer you couldn’t help but think that these people are the real superheroes, all we did was bake a few cakes, but a hero is defined as, ‘a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities’. This definition relates to all of us, surgeons, bakers, kayakers and even the partners. With our help and inspiration, the hospital can continue to push the boundaries of surgery and create a space where children will be happy to return.
We’re so happy to be a part of something so innovative and meaningful. Keep inspiring Alder Hey!
To find out more about Alder Hey and their current events you can get involved with, please click here.