Child's condition shows importance of St Helier's vital services
A mum has spoken out against the closure of a children's ward which helped save her daughter's life.
Clair and Ivo Padovan’s daughter Emilia, was struck down with a rare and potentially fatal kidney disorder in 2006.
At just three years old Emilia was rushed to St Helier Hospital’s accident and emergency department after her mother spotted her swollen face and tummy.
She was quickly diagnosed her with nephrotic syndrome - a serious kidney disease which affects one in 50,000 children.
She was treated at St Helier's specialist children's hospital, Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children, and stayed on the children's ward which now faces closure.
The NHS healthcare review, Better Services Better Value, recommended in May that St Helier, Kingston and Croydon University hospitals all close their children’s wards.
Sick children and their families face increased journey times to St George’s Hospital in Tooting which would become the only specialist overnight stay children’s ward in the region.
The plans are set to go out to public consulation in October.
Mrs Padovan, 43, said her case emphasised the importance of keeping St Helier's ward open.
She said: "They diagnosed it immediately - they were absolutely amazing."
Nephrotic syndrome means that her kidneys leak protein into urine which results in swelling and an increased risk of blood clots.
Emilia, now nine years old, visits Queen Mary’s hospital in St Helier at least six times a year for care and Mrs Padovan, described it as a "vital resource".
Due to Emilia’s health issues the family attend different hospitals in London including Great Ormond Street, St Georges and St Helier.
However, the more time the family spends at hospitals further away from home - the more it disruptive it is to family life.
Mrs Padovan said: "The good thing about local care is we can walk in and we know the staff.
"We know most of the doctors and nurses [at Queen Mary’s] it’s just wonderful for children to feel at home.
"Local care is so important for children who are ill a lot - for the parents as well."