Patients on the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital can now benefit from a new chair to help with their rehabilitation thanks to support from local fundraisers.
The Sara Combilizer chair has been jointly funded by the RD&E’s League of Friends and the Chappell family from Exmouth, who each donated £9,000 towards the new piece of equipment.
The chair enables patients to begin their rehabilitation process earlier by getting them out of bed and supporting them into a sitting or standing position, even whilst they are on a ventilator. The early mobilization that the chair offers can help speed up a patient’s recovery and potentially get them home from hospital quicker.
The Chappell family decided to support the ICU in memory of mum Jacquie, 55, who spent several months being cared for on the unit before she passed away in December 2014. In honour of her memory and as a way of saying thank you to staff, Jacquie’s daughters Victoria and Laura, and husband Roger organised a charity ball at Woodbury Park in April 2016, raising £15,241.31 in total. As well as part funding the new chair, they were also able to donate several iPads and digital radios to the unit in the summer of 2016.
Victoria Ford said: “‘The team at the RD&E Intensive Care Unit looked after our Mum with such care and love to be able to give something back that will benefit other patients and the staff if the least we felt we could do’
The RD&E’s League of Friends are a group of volunteers who support the Trust by providing funding to purchase equipment to improve patient care and bring comfort for patients, visitors and staff.
Chairperson of LOF Cheryl Hayes added: “The League of Friends was delighted to contribute to the funding of this chair for the Intensive Care Unit and we have seen at first-hand how it is already improving the rehabilitation process for patients and staff on the unit. In these difficult financial times, this is a perfect example of how we can support deserving projects throughout the hospital and really make a difference to both patients and staff.”
Team Lead Physiotherapist Hannah McDill said on behalf of ICU: “The multi-disciplinary team working on the intensive care unit are extremely grateful and would like thank the League of Friends and the family of Jacquie Chappell for their generous donation allowing us to purchase the Sara Combilizer.
“This piece of equipment has proven benefit in the early rehabilitation of patients who are critically unwell on our intensive care and is also being used in the ward setting. As well as the physical advantages of assisting patients to regain function quicker, it also has other positives such as helping with the psychological aspects that our patients may face.”