The Munday-Crates family, from Stafford, is calling on local residents to join them in supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Critical Journeys Appeal, which is just £250k of its £2million target.

The appeal is raising money to kit out four Critical Care Ambulances with the latest, life-saving medical equipment. This will enable the KIDS/NTS service to respond faster and more effectively, helping critically ill patients and their families in the West Midlands get to the right place, at the right time, for the right treatment.

At just 17-days-old, Rosie developed a bad cough and was struggling to breathe so Mum, Rachel, took her to their local hospital in Stafford. The next day Rosie deteriorated  quickly and had to be transferred by the KIDS/NTS team to a specialist intensive care unit over an hour away.

After a traumatic time watching their little girl struggling to breathe, Rosie’s parents were extremely relieved when the specialist ambulance team arrived. Dad, Rob, said: “The KIDS/NTS team arrived and immediately intubated and stabilised Rosie before preparing for the journey. All of this was achieved in a very short space of time. They had a clear plan and were executing it whilst keeping us informed at every stage, including telling us what ‘Plan B’ was at each point - we felt totally re-assured that she was in the right hands.”

Upon arrival at the hospital, Rosie went straight into intensive care where she had 24/7 personal care with a consultant on hand at all times. She was later diagnosed with severe bronchiolitis, a respiratory system virus, and was discharged from hospital 10-days later.

Rosie is just one of over 2,000 babies, children and young people moved by the KIDS/NTS service every year – the newly merged Kids Intensive Care and Decision Support (KIDS) Service and Neonatal Transfer Service (NTS), hosted at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Money raised through the Critical Journeys Appeal will fund state-of-the art-equipment for a fleet of four Critical Care Ambulances removing the need to share equipment between ambulances, ensuring the KIDS/NTS service can respond to simultaneous demands and increase response time, ultimately resulting in better care for critically ill babies and children, helping to save more lives.                                               

Furthermore, the much-needed appeal will enable the KIDS/NTS service to continue to deliver specialist care with compassion, by providing parents and children with added comforts such as phone chargers, snacks, teddy bears and DVDs as a welcome distraction in their time of need.

Emma Bull, Lead Nurse at KIDS/NTS, said: “We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported the Critical Journeys Appeal so far. Our team is committed to providing the very best service possible for all the children and families who we look after. This much-needed appeal will help us to upgrade our equipment and kit out our ambulances, enabling us to be response-ready at all times. In turn, this will allow us to move more patients with the same level of specialist equipment used in specialist care, making sure we can get our patients to the right place, at the right time for the right treatment.”