Providing state-of-the-art equipment

New portable oxygen machine for young respiratory patients

Your generous support has helped make it possible for young patients who suffer from breathing conditions to travel and go on holiday much more easily.

For children who have serious breathing conditions, it can be hard for them to know that there are things they may not be able to do that their peers can. Very often these children need to be constantly connected to oxygen cylinders, meaning that they can’t move as freely, or join in games as easily as other children. Or perhaps they hear their friends talking about flying on planes to visit other countries, something which is difficult for their own family to manage due to their illness.

Three-year-old Sebastian Colaco can relate to these challenges. But happily, thanks to a new portable oxygen concentrator bought by donations, Sebastian was able to enjoy a sunny family holiday abroad for the first time earlier this year.

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Sebastian with concentratorDifficulty breathing

Sebastian has a rare form of childhood lung disease which means he suffers with difficulty breathing and low blood oxygen levels. He needs extra oxygen to help him breathe, and so is connected to an oxygen cylinder 24/7 via plastic prongs in his nose. These cylinders need constant refilling which can only be done by their UK-based suppliers, and they are also rarely allowed on aeroplanes.

Because of this, Sebastian’s parents Holly and Henry had never taken him abroad. However, being able to borrow the oxygen concentrator from King’s has meant they were able to visit family in Sicily last July.

The freedom to explore

The new equipment can be used instead of heavy gas cylinders. It extracts oxygen naturally present in the air and concentrates it. This means it is light and easy to transport, and patients do not need to worry about the oxygen supply running out.

‘We were previously worried about getting hold of the right oxygen equipment abroad,’ says mum Holly, ‘but the oxygen concentrator we borrowed from King’s was brilliant. It lasts most of the day just on batteries, so we were able to go out and explore the island without worrying about Sebastian’s oxygen supply.’

The oxygen tube also extends to up to 13 metres, allowing the child freedom to play – something which Holly found particularly helpful. ‘Sebastian could run around the garden and the beach and swim in the pool independently,’ she says.

Made possible by donations

Thanks to donations, the new equipment lives permanently in the paediatric outpatient respiratory clinic at King’s. It can be borrowed by patients being treated in the clinic for up to four weeks, completely free of charge.

We – and Holly - are so thrilled that more of our young patients will be able to enjoy holidays with their family thanks to the machine, just like Sebastian. ‘Hopefully many more families will also benefit from the freedom the concentrator gave us’.

Your donations have helped buy equipment that will improve the lives of young patients at King’s and your ongoing support will ensure we can continue to go above and beyond in this way. Find out more about how you can donate or start fundraising today.

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