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After four years of treatment and support, including regular blood and platelet transfusions, Leslie was admitted to KGH in February 2018 with an infection in both knees which, despite two emergency operations, developed into sepsis, a life-threatening condition in which the body attacks its own tissues and organs.
The sepsis caused dad's throat to become very sore and dry, so he was hardly eating or drinking. One of his few pleasures was sipping ice cold water, which soothed his throat and kept his mouth moist. Unfortunately, we were not always able to fetch a jug of iced water because his ward - Barnwell C - did not have its own ice machine. The busy nurses tried their best to accommodate dad and the other patients, but did not always have the time to venture to neighbouring wards in search of ice. Without it, in the hot, stuffy bays and side rooms, tap water soon became warm and unappealing.
Built to a high specification because of the risk of infection, these machines are expensive to buy (£3K) and maintain (£500 per year), so, understandably, aren't the highest priority for the NHS. We therefore decided to raise enough money to buy one ourselves - to ensure other patients can get the same relief and refreshment from iced water that dad enjoyed so much and as a way to say 'thank you' to all the staff who were there for us during the saddest of times.
Through the generosity of friends, family and Wildlife in watercolour supporters, we were able to raise £3,575 - over £4,000 with Gift Aid. The ice machine arrived on the ward in September 2018.