Fardell family donate £5,000 to Grantham Hospital children’s ward to help preserve dignity in death

Equipment donated to the Kingfisher Ward at Grantham Hospital. From left, Steve Huggins, Angie Paulger, Eleanor Sherwin, Michelle Fardell, Dean Fardell and Julie Odwyer.
Equipment donated to the Kingfisher Ward at Grantham Hospital. From left, Steve Huggins, Angie Paulger, Eleanor Sherwin, Michelle Fardell, Dean Fardell and Julie Odwyer.
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The Fardell family from Grantham have donated £5,000 to the children’s hub at Grantham and District Hospital to purchase specialist equipment to be used by families with terminally ill children.

It has been used to purchase a cooling mat to be used by these families who would like their children to remain at home around the time of death.

With support from friends, Michelle and Dean Fardell have tirelessly raised money for the children’s unit at the hospital since losing their daughter, Naomi, 16 years ago following an illness.

In that time they have raised an amazing £150,000, which has been split between three units where their daughter was treated at Grantham and District Hospital, Glenfield in Leicester and Great Ormond Street, London.

At Grantham, they have used the money to buy a number of items including saturation monitors for families to use at home, mannequins for parents to practice medical techniques at home and a paediatric transducer for scans. All help towards reducing the need for hospital visits and being able to spend more time at home with their child.

The latest purchase is a Mini 170, Flexmort cooling mat which helps to preserve a child’s body after death, enabling the family to keep their child with them several hours longer than usual to help with the grieving process.

Michelle Fardell said: “We’re really proud to be able to donate equipment to the unit in memory of our daughter, Naomi, as she was treated here since she was four weeks old and it’s lovely to see the equipment in use, helping other families.

“With certain equipment we could have had more time at home with Naomi, and that’s what we’d like to provide for other families. We got to know all the staff at the hospital so it’s nice to keep involved and to know that she had such an effect on the staff and others in her life.”

Julia O’Dwyer, children’s palliative care co-ordinator at Grantham and District hospital, said: “We’re immensely grateful for the generous donation towards the equipment. It will have a great impact on the dignity of children and their families, giving them more choice at the time of death.”

Michelle and Dean set up a fund called Naomi’s Fund to raise money in her memory. Naomi would have turned 18 this year.

Her family are arranging events including the annual ball at Belton Woods on Saturday, September 19, first set up by family friend Ben Benbow.

They are also taking part in another challenging cycle ride this year, this time from Great Ormond Street hospital, to Glenfield and Grantham and District Hospital on Thursday, July 23, instigated by Mark Anegloni.

For more information please visit their website www.thenaomifund.co.uk