Posted on: 11 Aug 2023
Lucy Syrett-Barsby is 13 years old and from Shepshed in Leicestershire. She has been treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital for a kidney condition since the age of 6, and underwent a kidney transplant at age 7. Five years later, the transplant unfortunately failed, and Lucy has since been receiving dialysis on the renal ward at Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
Lucy became involved in the NUH Youth Service in 2022, when she started attending the weekly Youth Club, which is funded by Nottingham Hospitals Charity. In August 2022, she joined a week-long residential trip to Wales, also funded by the Charity, especially for young renal patients like Lucy.
The trip enabled over 20 young patients treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital to meet other young people with similar conditions and experiences, build friendships and confidence, and offer support to one another.
When Lucy set out on the trip, she didn’t know any of the other participants – but by the end, she had made friendships which continued once the group returned home.
Lucy explained: “I was so pleased to be able to go on the Wales trip. One of the renal nurses came, which meant I was able to receive my dialysis whilst I was away, so I could still take part in all the activities.
“I’m not usually a very outdoors person but I stepped out of my comfort zone and went canoeing, climbing, and even abseiling! We also went on a boat trip which was a big step for me as I’m usually nervous around the sea, but I really enjoyed it.
“It was nice to meet other people like me. I shared a lodge with three girls I’d never met before, but we all got on really well. I’m still in touch with some of the other people from the trip, and we see each other at the NUH Youth Club every week.”
Lucy said the Youth Service and the residential trip to Wales has made a big difference to her.
She said: “For anyone thinking of going on a similar trip, I’d say go for it! I was a bit nervous at first but I really enjoyed it and I’m so glad that I did it.”