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Couple’s £50,000 donation to child care unit
A Bradford police officer and his wife, who lost their baby daughter to a rare illness, were today handing over lifesaving medical equipment to a child care unit after raising £50,000 in her memory.
PC Ryan Senior, 30, an officer with Bradford South Police, and his bank worker wife Lyndsey, also 30, were devastated by the death of two-and-a-half-month-old Isabella Grace from a severe strain of bronchiolitis, an infection of the lungs caused by a virus, 18 months ago.
The couple started a campaign to raise awareness of the condition, and to raise money for new equipment for Leeds General Infirmary’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, where Isabella Grace was cared for.
The money has paid for an oscillator, a sophisticated ventilator which helps youngsters to breathe, and an advanced thermal baby warmer for particularly small babies.
The couple, who now have a healthy seven-month-old daughter Francesca, were officially handing over the equipment today, and also thanking staff for their care of Isabella Grace.
PC Senior said yesterday: “It will be an emotional day, but we wanted to give something back, not just to the hospital for the fantastic care its staff gave to Isabella, but to other parents.
“We know this equipment will ultimately save the lives of children, and if there is something positive to come out of such tragic circumstances, then this is it.”
The money was raised in less than a year through a range of small events, as well as two major fundraising evenings.
PC Senior said: “The support we have had from family, friends, work colleagues and ordinary members of the public has been overwhelming.”
A hospital spokesman said the unit was seeing more children with chronic lung disease and the ventilator would be extremely useful. The thermal baby warmer would allow staff and parents to observe children more clearly and make it possible to take chest X-rays without disturbance.
Dr Catherine Penrose, paediatric intensive care consultant at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, who led the team caring for Isabella Grace, said: “During the time they were here, Ryan and Lyndsey became like family to us and they could see the type of equipment we use in the unit gives very sick children the best chances of survival.
“Sadly it wasn’t possible to save Isabella Grace, but Ryan and Lyndsey are such wonderful, unselfish parents that they decided, despite their grief, to take all their energy and plough it into something positive and fundraise for this equipment to help give other children the best possible chance of life.
“We will never be able to thank them enough for what they and their family and friends have done.”