Spinal Unit Helps Local Teen Dance Back to Health

Southampton Children’s Hospital’s Spinal Unit has received two significant donations in gratitude for their dedication and care.  After experiencing first-hand how specialist equipment can aid recovery, 14 year old Lucy Brimecome has raised funds for the hospital as thanks for her life-changing surgery.

Lucy, who lives with her parents and older brother near Chichester, was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2018.  Previously active and sporty, the increasingly debilitating symptoms left Lucy in constant pain, forcing her to give up much-loved hobbies like rock climbing, tap and ballet dancing.

Eventually unable even to sit in one position for any length of time, she faced radical surgery to fuse her lower spine, inserting 2 titanium rods and 14 screws.  The whole family were understandably apprehensive leading up to Lucy’s operation, but have praised surgeon Mr Evan Davies and all the staff on the G3 spinal ward at Southampton General Hospital for their exceptional care and expertise throughout the whole process.

Unable to drink normally whilst lying immobile in recuperation, Lucy also risked recovery-threatening dehydration.  Researching online, dad Paul found NRS Healthcare’s Hydrant Drinking Bottle, which enabled Lucy to drink whilst lying flat.  This simple piece of equipment transformed Lucy’s recovery, enabling nurses to measure and adapt her fluid intake much more accurately.

Seeing this, Paul approached NRS Healthcare, (who supply disability, mobility, therapeutic and living aid products), and together with Mark Moran MBE, from “Hydrate for Health” who designed the bottle, agreed to donate 60 Hydrant bottles to the unit.

Brave Lucy also wanted to give something back to the unit.  Having attended Melana Dance in Emsworth since she was 4, Lucy’s goal, whilst in recovery, became performing in their upcoming dance show at Portsmouth Guildhall.  Despite being told she was unlikely to be well enough in time, Lucy’s determination saw her take centre stage just 8 weeks after her operation.

Lucy’s dance teacher, Louisa Chandler, arranged for a raffle to be held at the show, raising over £500 which Lucy will be presenting to the G3 spinal ward at her 3 month check-up in March.  By happy coincidence, this falls during National Nutrition and Hydration Week, which promotes the importance of nutrition and hydration in the medical, caring and therapeutic professions.  In support of this, the donation of the 60 Hydrant Drinking Bottles will provide vital hydration to other spinal patients during their recovery.

Lucy’s dad Paul says: “We cannot thank Mr Davies and all the team at the spinal unit enough. Their care and dedication was amazing and I am sure aided Lucy’s much speedier recovery.  The work they do is often despite lack of funds and resources like the Hydrant bottles, which we have seen make such a difference to care and recovery.  Having experienced it first hand, we were so glad to give something back which will help future patients lucky enough to be under the unit’s excellent care.”

Nutrition and Hydration Week is an annual event with a shared objective to highlight, promote and celebrate improvements in the provision of nutrition and hydration locally, nationally and globally.  16th-22nd March 2020 https://nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk/