Having healthy children makes you realise just how lucky you are every minute of the day. Thankfully we have never needed a specialist childrens hospital and we are so grateful that they are there to cater for every eventuality. I was contacted to share Archie’s story and bring to you details of the fabulous work Alder Hey hospital do every single day of the year.
Every year Alder Hey cares for over 275,000 patients and their families. We’d like you to meet some of them – patients who have been remarkable supporters of our fundraising appeals –
In March 2014, Archie was flown to Alder Hey from his local hospital in the Isle of Man with a suspected infection. It began when Archie started to complain about backache. The pain became severe and after a couple of trips to his local surgery, he was taken by ambulance to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). His condition rapidly deteriorated and he needed to be sedated and brought the ICU at Alder Hey. As he was fighting for his life, doctors decided that in addition to ventilation, he needed to be connected to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (EMO) machine which took over the function of the heart and lungs, helping deliver oxygen into his blood.
Blood tests finally confirmed he had a Staphylococcus infection, which is a group of bacteria that produce a rare toxin called Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) targeting his heart, lungs and muscles. The infection had caused severe sepsis and he had to be sedated for three weeks so they would provide the necessary intensive treatment. After 47 days of ICU, Archie was able to be moved to Alder Hey’s specialist neurology ward for rehabilitation and spent four months in hospital.
From day one, Archie’s parents agreed for medical staff to involve Archie in research. During his time in ICU, he had bloody being taken regularly as part of his care, a small amount of which was used for research. The study looked at generic reasons why people may suffer from life threatening infections and why different people with the same condition may have more or less severe disease.
After a lot of treatment, Archie was able to return to the Isle of Man and has continued with physiotherapy. He no longer uses a wheelchair and is progressing well. It’s been over a year but Archie is working hard to recover. In April 2015 he was invited to address a one day infection conference in Liverpool and he spoke poignantly about the importance of early diagnosis of sepsis , knowing it could have been a different story if he had not received life-saving treatment at Alder Hey.