Mum shows support for transformation of Sheffield Children’s Hospital

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Zachary Thropp’s family know first hand how single-occupancy rooms at Sheffield Children’s Hospital would make a huge difference to parents of poorly children.

Zachary Thropp’s family know first hand how single-occupancy rooms at Sheffield Children’s Hospital would make a huge difference to parents of poorly children.

Little Zachary, from Chesterfield, had his first major operation at the hospital when he was just a week old.

Now aged two, Zachary has been in the operating theatre 12 times, spending most of his life so far on the hospital’s ward.

He is being treated for hydrocephalus, a genetic condition which causes a build-up of fluid inside the skull, which can increase pressure and cause damage to the brain.

Mum Sam said: “Doctors were able to diagnose Zachary months before he was born. I had a planned C-section two weeks before Zachary’s due date and a team from the children’s hospital were ready to look after Zachary as soon as he arrived into the world, and they’ve been there ever since.

“Zachary’s condition means that the valves in his head which should drain fluid from the brain and pump it back around the body don’t work properly, so a special piece of plastic was inserted into his brain to do it for him.”

Surgeons inserted a shunt into Zachary’s brain to redirect the excess fluid. In healthy people, the fluid, which is essential for cushioning the brain and providing nutrients, is recycled around the body on average three times a day. Sam said: “The shunt really is amazing and so are the neurosurgeons and nurses who are so skilled and take such good care of Zachary.

“Throughout Zachary’s life we have continually been re-admitted so that he can have treatments and surgeries to help manage his condition – sometimes we stay on the wards for weeks at a time.

“The whole experience is very stressful and sleeping on a ward next to lots of other children is not ideal, and can make an already stressful experience even worse.

“The transformation the hospital has planned to include single-occupancy rooms with pull-out beds for parents will be fantastic. It will provide families like mine with privacy at difficult times.

“The ensuite bathrooms will also be brilliant as currently parents have to leave the ward for toilets and showers.

“Ultimately the transformation will provide a more comfortable environment, which will make it easier for patients and parents to stay strong.

“Zachary is doing incredibly well despite everything he’s up against. He has always been such a happy boy and we’re so proud of him and we’re so grateful for the support we receive from all the staff at the hospital.”

To help raise money for Make it Better Day on June 27, Sam will be doing the weekly zumba class she attends in fancy dress and is encouraging others to also plan or take part in a fundraiser that will help transform the hospital.

“The children’s hospital does such great work, not just for patients in Sheffield but for poorly children from across the country so it’s vital we support it,” said Sam. “Every penny counts.”

Register for your Make it Better pack, download the form click here

Read some of the inspiring Make it Better stories:

Television presenter backs appeal to transform Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Play specialist helps to Make it Better for patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Family backs Sheffield children’s Hosptial appeal

Caring teenager gives back to Sheffield Children’s Hospital




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