UK Healthcare has proudly donated £3,395 to Staffordshire-based national charity, Caudwell Children. The donation will allow the charity to purchase an oxygen concentrator, which will give disabled children who have low oxygen levels the opportunity to experience a dream holiday to Disney World, Florida.    

The charity, which provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, created its annual Destination Dreams holiday programme in 2007. The aim of the programme is to give 25 children with life threatening illnesses the chance to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime, overseas, trip.

Each year a number of the children selected for the holiday are either full-time oxygen users, require oxygen when they sleep at altitude on the aeroplane, or will be in need of emergency oxygen provision during the holiday. Unfortunately, the charity’s limited number of oxygen concentrators are coming to the end of their lifespan and need replacing.

Lisa Bates, Associate Director of Core Services at Caudwell Children, says the donation from UK Healthcare is vital in ensuring that those with oxygen needs continue to be selected for the holiday. As she explained: “Each child that travels on the Destination Dreams trip undergoes a professional risk assessment based on their medical condition.

“As part of this process the children need to obtain a ‘fit to fly’ approval from their consultant. For those with a respiratory condition this won’t be obtained unless oxygen is available for them on the flight. Whilst there are supplies on all commercial planes they only have the capacity to support two patients at any one time.  

“Clearly this doesn’t meet our requirements so the grant from UK Healthcare, which will allow us to purchase a brand new oxygen concentrator, is vital in allowing us to get ‘fit to fly’ approval for more children.”

The Destination Dreams holiday is unique in that those selected for the trip receive 24-hour dedicated medical support from a team of specialist paediatric doctors and nurses.

“We can’t thank UK Healthcare enough,” concluded Lisa. “They have given us the ‘green light’ to take more children, who require oxygen provision, to Florida. The concentrator that they have funded will support up to 125 children over the next five years, the lifetime of a concentrator, and that’s priceless.”