Hospital home launches cough machine fundraising appeal

Stewart Gillespie from the fundraising team with Pat Kilmartin. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Stewart Gillespie from the fundraising team with Pat Kilmartin. Picture: Kate Shemilt

A military charity has launched a fundraising appeal to purchase a piece of life-saving equipment.

The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home in Boundary Road, Worthing, wants to purchase a cough assist machine.

The cough assist machine in action

The cough assist machine in action

It is a vital piece of equipment for those who have a weak or ineffective cough due to a neuromuscular disease or cervical spinal cord injury.

The home’s matron and director of nursing, Valerie Walker, explains: “A gentleman wished to apply to us recently, who, due to a progressive neurological condition, had a very weak chest and could not cough naturally. He would have needed a cough assist machine to enable him to expand his lungs and breathe normally. As we did not have this equipment at QAHH, he could not be admitted and had to remain in hospital. Needless to say, this was a very sad day for us, as we would have loved to have welcomed this gentleman into the QAHH family.”

People with progressive neurological conditions, for example Multiple Sclerosis and motor neurone disease, often require the assistance of this machine in the later stages of their illness.

The benefits of a cough assist machine include enabling patients to cough, allowing them to keep airways clear and aid breathing. It also reduces the occurrence of respiratory infections and the need for frequent suctioning, prevents A&E admissions, improves quality of life and saves lives.

To purchase this equipment, train staff to use it and to maintain it, it will cost £6,060.

Since launching the appeal last week, the charity has already raised £1,406.

The home will produce a roll of honour of all those who have donated, which will be displayed on the charity’s website and in the building for all residents, staff and visitors to see.

The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home is currently the only hospital home south of London which provides specialist nursing care for ex-servicemen and women.

To donate, visit qahh.org.uk/life-saving-appeal or call 01903 218 444.

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