Watch our behind-the-scenes tour of the new intra-operative MRI scanner at Nottingham Children's Hospital, funded by our Big Appeal!
In November 2016 we launched our Big Appeal in aid of Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
Our aim was to raise money for enhanced facilities, special medical equipment and a child-focused environment for young patients and their families at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, which is based at the Queen’s Medical Centre.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the appeal has raised over £3million to date, which has enabled us to fund life-changing equipment and facilities for children and their families.
As a specialist regional centre for the East Midlands, the Big Appeal for Nottingham Children’s Hospital has impacted families from across the region and beyond.
Our Big Appeal encompasses several smaller appeals, including the Big iMRI Appeal and the Baby MRI Appeal, which we have launched in phases over the course of four years.
Parent and family accommodation
In March 2019 we officially reopened the parent and family accommodation at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, after a £500,000 refurbishment project funded through our Big Appeal.
This accommodation provides a home from home for families whose children are being treated at the hospital, allowing parents to stay close to their sick child during their time on our wards.
Thanks to our donors we were able to revitalise the 22 bedrooms, along with kitchen and bathroom facilities, to make them more welcoming and homely for families facing a difficult time, giving them a safe and comfortable refuge away from the ward environment.
“Having these rooms and me being able to be here so much makes such a huge difference. It means I am able to be here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to look after Ella-Grace. I would simply not be able to afford to travel back and forth to Grantham every day.”
Andrea Gregorich, who stayed in the newly refurbished accommodation while her nine-month-old daughter Ella-Grace was being treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
Intra-operative MRI machine
In December 2020 we officially unveiled the £2.9million intra-operative MRI machine (iMRI), which was part-funded by our Big iMRI Appeal – the second phase of our Big Appeal – and has revolutionised the treatment of children with brain tumours from across the region.
The new iMRI scanner can be used during brain surgery to determine whether a child’s whole tumour has been removed – allowing surgeons to immediately return to theatre if needed, rather than waiting for a post-operative scan and potentially further surgery to remove any remaining tumour.
Thanks to generous donations from across the local community and beyond, we were able to give £1.6million towards the iMRI scanner, with the University of Nottingham contributing the remaining £1.3million.
“Oliver has so far undergone three lots of brain surgery, and the 24-hour wait afterwards for a scan to find out how successful the surgery has been can feel like a lifetime. For surgeons to be able to see, there and then in the operating theatre, whether they have removed the whole tumour, and to be able to immediately go back in and remove anything left over rather than having to wait for further surgery down the line, will be absolutely life-changing.”
Ashley Swift, whose son Oliver, now aged three, is being treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital after being diagnosed with a brain tumour at five months old.
In January 2020 we launched the third phase of our Big Appeal – our Baby MRI Appeal. This aims to raise money for equipment to make MRI scans as quick, safe and comfortable as possible for our tiniest patients in Nottingham’s Neonatal Units.
Each year the Neonatal Units at City Hospital and QMC treat over 1,500 babies, many of whom need to undergo MRI scans. The Baby MRI Appeal aims to fund new equipment and technology, including special head coils to fit into babies’ incubators, and software to cut scanning time from 30 to 15 minutes.
After successfully reaching our original £100,000 target, we increased our target to £200,000 to allow us to fund two sets of new equipment, allowing babies at both City Hospital and QMC to have the best and safest possible access to MRI scans, without the need for equipment to be transported between hospital sites.
“It can be a frightening experience when your baby has to undergo tests and MRI scans, and I fully support this appeal to make these scans as quick and as safe as possible. It will make a real difference to parents at what is an extremely worrying and difficult time.”
Hajnal Greening, whose daughter Charlotte, now a health four-year-old, was cared for on the Neonatal Unit after suffering a lack of oxygen at birth.
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