New equipment brings revolutionary success to local charity

Following a campaign launched last year, Rockinghorse Children’s Charity has funded four ventilators for the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton. The Sabrina’s Wish campaign highlighted the need for extra ventilators in HDU and it has received fantastic support from the local community who have helped fundraise for the much-needed equipment.

The campaign was launched with the help of parents Martin and Lucinda Blencowe who were inspired to begin fundraising for Rockinghorse after their four month old daughter Sabrina was admitted to the Alex with a serious case of viral bronchiolitis in January 2014. The condition resulted in her fight for life and highlighted the real need for ventilation equipment, which was used by the doctors and nurses on HDU to bring Sabrina back to good health.

RH_logo_Min_SpaceDr Kamal Patel, a Paediatric Consultant at the Alex, has plenty of good news to share as a result of the new ventilators. He says: “We have treated over 100 patients with the non-invasive ventilation (NIV) equipment. The ventilator gives us detailed information which allows us to adapt to each patient and achieve the synchrony required for the treatment to succeed. There has been a revolution in the theory and practice of NIV at the Alex and we have introduced the UK’s first NIV in Bronchiolitis care pathway.”

Thea, aged two, is one of the young patients recently treated using the new Viva 60 Ventilator equipment following a severe chest infection which left her with breathing problems and lack of oxygen. Having the ventilators donated by Rockinghorse on site meant Dr Patel and his team were able to confidently treat Thea and help her make a full recovery.

Thea’s mum Lucy explains: “It was amazing to have Thea treated at the Alex so efficiently and effectively by Dr Patel and his incredible team. The new method of ventilation, thanks to the donated machines, meant we could be very confident in her care. We could also stay close to Thea for every moment, without having to be transferred to London. What was a troubling and scary time, was actually as calm and supportive as can be.”

To find out more about Rockinghorse and the work they do to help make life better for sick children in Sussex, visit