PICU's little champions toddling on for charity
Two toddlers are walking the distance between Chichester and Southampton to raise funds for the unit that saved their lives.
Maisie Wood and Isaac Watts, one and two respectively, have already walked 22 of the 36 miles of their challenge, in aid of Friends of PICU (paediatric intensive care unit), a charity that supports children and their families on the PICU in Southampton Children’s Hospital at the University Hospital Southampton.
Delphine Watts, the mother of Isaac who lives in Chichester, said: “In the space of three weeks, we have raised £3,068, which is just blowing us away!”
Maisie and Isaac have both taken on this target after their lives were saved by the fast and crucial work done in the unit. The charitable children were each rushed to St Richard’s Hospital and from there to the PICU in Southampton Hospital for vital lifesaving work.
In November 2019 Maisie developed bronchitis and due to previously suffering from respiratory distress she was admitted to hospital for five days, when suddenly, half of both of her lungs collapse leaving her unable to maintain her breathing. Staff at St Richard’s were able to ventilate and stabilise Maisie, before a retrieval ambulance and team from Southampton Hospital PICU arrived and transported Maisie back for specialist care.
Maisie's mother Megan Wood who also lives in Chichester, said: "The care and kindness shown to all of us there was overwhelming - from surrounding Maisie with toys and music, to providing emotional support for us and instilling hope that everything would be OK. We will forever be grateful for the PICU team."
A year later, Isaac had an unfortunate accident on a country walk and after heroics from Isaac’s uncle and a passing stranger, CPR was performed on him until he was rushed to St Richard’s hospital. From there he was transferred to Southampton Hospital where a team of neurosurgeons performed a craniotomy to save his life. He was then put into an induced coma where he was treated by the PICU.
MS Watts added: "I shall never forget the day when the neurosurgeon said “You’ve got your little boy back”, words that to this day bring a tear to my eye. Whilst Isaac has sustained permanent damage and still has a long road ahead of him with his health, we are forever grateful to the PICU team.
Friends of PICU stated: “We are delighted to be receiving support this month from two very special little supporters.”
The last day of the walk will be on November 28 and a finish line has been set up for the two to run through.
Ms Watts continued: [we chose] "November as this is the month they were in PICU one year apart (Maisie in November 2019 and Isaac in November 2020). We needed re-frame the meaning of November to celebrate their achievements."
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maisieandisaac