On Saturday (4th March 2016) Sarah Parish and James Murray visited Southampton Hospital to celebrate a huge achievement after many years of fundraising for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit where their late daughter Ella-Jayne spent much of her short life.
A brand-new extension to the often full to capacity children’s critical care department was opened, providing two extra bed bays for children and much needed lifesaving equipment.
This has been made entirely possible due to relentless efforts from Friends of PICU charity who work tirelessly to raise funds for equipment and facilities. Sarah and James have worked closely with staff and fundraisers and through The Murray Parish Trust have raised just under £400,000 for the department helping to fund a specialised children’s air ambulance, a psychologist, essential equipment and securing donations for this new extension.
Dr Ian Mackintosh made a short presentation documenting the journey towards this venture from the early stages of planning, collaboration with other departments in the hospital, the logistics of the building work in such a sensitive area and thanking the many people involved. Sarah and James said a few words and gave special thanks to Rosie Mitchell who nursed Ella-Jayne and gave the couple tremendous support throughout.
A small group of attendees went down to the ward that afternoon and could see the finished area with two state of the art beds complete with the PICU Elephant soft toy ready to care for poorly babies and children.
Two plaques on the wall honour the fundraising achievement that made this possible one thanking Friends of PICU and one naming the extension ‘Kyla’s Space’ in honour of a major donation to The Murray Parish Trust from Kyla’s father George Farha.
It’s a very humbling experience being on the ward as well as seeing the results of such hard work from so many people.