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Joseph Mitchell Remembered At Alder Hey

4D immersive spaceA unique immersive projection system that will reduce anxiety and help young cardiac patients to relax while in hospital will be unveiled at Alder Hey today, inspired by cardiac patient Joseph Mitchell.

Joseph was treated at Alder Hey for over a year for a cardiac condition but sadly lost his fight against his illness in 2012 when he was just 2½ years old. His mum Lisa was keen to thank all those involved in his care and also leave a lasting legacy to Joseph.

Lisa said: “Joseph was such a brave little boy and never moaned about his illness or about being in hospital. He lived in Alder Hey for a year and the care he received was second to none.  While I was there I realised how lucky we were to have Alder Hey on our doorstep.

“We became close to the cardiac team and all the staff on K2 and I wanted to thank them for everything they had done for Joseph. My bosses at Thomas Cook told me they wanted to do something in memory of Joseph so I met with his clinician Ian Peart and Gill McBurney, cardiac nurse specialist, who was there on every step of Joseph’s journey. They suggested that we helped the hospital in getting this exciting equipment for the ECHO rooms.”

Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, which aims to improve the lives of children and the communities in which they live, granted £80,000 to fund the equipment.

Malcolm Dean, Vice Chair of Thomas Cook Children’s Charity said “On behalf of Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, I am delighted that our support will help make what can be a daunting visit to the hospital that much easier for all young patients and their families at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.”

The new system installed in the hospital’s ECHO rooms by 4D creative will allow images to be projected onto the walls around a patient. The system also features surround sound and LED lighting to immerse each patient in a different engaging setting and put them at ease during their assessments and procedures.

The immersive system comes with 50 different changing scenes and has the facility to enable staff to upload images or films themselves allowing it to be personalised for each child to ensure that it suits their needs.

Gill McBurney, Cardiac Nurse Specialist said: “This equipment is fantastic and will make a real difference to our patients. Having changing pictures and films on the walls will distract them while enabling us to perform the scan more effectively. The room will feel less scary for our patients when they come in and they will feel that their scan takes no time at all! The likelihood of repeat scans due to the children moving during the procedure because they are restless or anxious will also be reduced.”

Young Ambassador for the Charity Megan Fish will be the first patient to be shown the new equipment in action during a special event attended by members of Alder Hey’s cardiac team, Alder Hey Children’s Charity and Thomas Cook Children’s Charity.

Clare White, Director of Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “This is a fantastic example of how charitable funding can make a massive difference to our children and young people. With the help of donations, we can bring exciting new equipment into our new hospital while also ensuring their treatment runs as smoothly as possible.

“We are incredibly grateful to Lisa and all the staff from Thomas Cook. Their support has allowed us to remember little Joseph in the most fitting way possible, while also making a positive impact on the experience of other cardiac patients like Megan.”

Lisa will be joined by husband Neil, daughter Molly and new baby Olivia at the unveiling and said: “It was really important for us to give something back but also in remembering Joseph. I take comfort when I come back to Alder Hey that everyone remembers him and I love that people still call me Joseph’s mum! So many people got to meet my little boy when he was here. He would have loved this projection system and I’m glad that we can do something to help other families.”

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