Our names are Claire and Laura. We are two of the Senior Renal Nurses at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. We would like to tell you about one of our brave young patients, Luke, and ask you to help us to support more children like him today.
Luke was just 11 weeks old when he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD) and started his journey with Alder Hey. Affecting around one in 20,000 children, ARPKD is a rare inherited condition where the development of the kidneys and liver is abnormal. Over time, these organs may fail.
Luke’s condition was stabilised and monitored at Alder Hey but devastatingly, in August 2021 Luke’s family were told that his kidneys were failing. He needed renal dialysis treatment which started the following month. Luke attended Alder Hey three times a week for eight months unable to take part in the things he used to love like swimming and playing football with his friends.
His mum Tori told us “I was really worried at the time as he missed around 70% of his schoolwork, his SATs, visiting his prospective secondary school. He was on a very restricted diet so he couldn’t have crisps, chocolate, potatoes…and his fluid intake was limited as his kidneys couldn’t do the job they would normally do. We couldn’t go on holiday as a family as he had his dialysis line in too.”
Life-saving renal dialysis followed by a successful kidney transplant from his dad, Carl, gave Luke the bright future he deserves.
Luke’s family have been through so much to get to this point, both parents juggling their jobs, caring for Luke and his little brother Archie, and travelling back and forth between their home in Ellesmere Port and Alder Hey.
He’s now 11 and doing all the things that a child should be able to – being with his friends and enjoying his first year in secondary school, particularly PE and Art!
We need your help to fund a brand-new haemodialysis machine so we can care for more children that need us each day. There has been an increase in the number of children who need haemodialysis, and we are currently running around 54 sessions per week at Alder Hey. As well as increasing our capacity, the new machine will be suitable for young children under 20kg, not just older children, so it gives us the scope we need to support all our patients and babies.
These new machines have a much lower risk of technical errors than older equipment, meaning that we can often save time and treatment is far more likely to run smoothly. Help us treat more children and make these sessions as comfortable as possible by donating today. It is a huge undertaking for our families to travel to Alder Hey several times a week for renal dialysis and we want this vital treatment to be as stress-free and efficient as possible for them.
Alder Hey Children’s Charity goes above and beyond what is available on our hard-working NHS to ensure that hospital life is the best it can be for children and young people. As well as funding high spec equipment, they like to sprinkle a little bit of magic for our patients too. During Luke’s treatment Liverpool FC legend, Jordan Henderson video called the young Liverpool fan and even gifted him a signed shirt and scarf which Luke now treasures!
Luke’s mum Tori told our charity team "Alder Hey is amazing, the staff are amazing, especially the renal team, they will do anything for you. They were always helping Luke, making sure he was ok and answered any questions we may have and were just so kind.”
Will you donate today to make a difference to young people like Luke? We know that times are hard for many people across our community, however a gift of just £10 will truly deliver an improved service for our young renal patients. Help us to offer more dialysis sessions for more patients each week, using the very best equipment available.
We know that times are hard for many people across our community, however a gift of just £10 will truly deliver an improved service for our young renal patients. Help us to offer more dialysis sessions for more patients each week, using the very best equipment available.
You can help create a bright future for children like Luke today, and we are so grateful for your care and kindness.
Claire and Laura
Senior Renal Nurses at Alder Hey Children's Hospital