Thanks to charitable donations, tracheostomy patients at our Children’s Hospital now have a brand-new mascot, a soft toy called Raki the Raccoon with a tracheostomy at its neck.

 A tracheostomy is an opening created at the front of the neck so a tube can be inserted into the windpipe (trachea) to help patients breathe.

Raki has been created to help kids better understand their condition and, more importantly, to have a toy which looks just like they do, so they don’t feel alone, isolated and different.

The new mascot, which is the first of its kind for tracheostomy patients in the UK, is the brainchild of Aisha Hamzah, one of our ear, nose and throat clinical nurse specialists, and Jo Matthews, a senior speech and language therapist at our hospital.

Raki was designed by Nick Hardman, who specialises in using 3D print and design to create accessible toys for children to help them understand and normalise medical conditions. Find out more about Raki the Raccoon here