Essex Freemasons help to purchase a lifesaving portable Ventilator

The generosity of Essex Freemasons continues to astound with the purchase of this urgently needed apparatus for Southend Hospital

Brethren of Essex this is where your generosity astounds me. The picture tells a thousand words. But rather than us telling you why we started this I’ll let Laura & Richard, do this in their own words.

“Our two-year-old suffers from life threatening seizures and when unwell it can cause him to stop breathing and always needing medical intervention via IV. Once they start its difficult to be able to stop them. Back in June they were debating about him needing a ventilator and having to make the journey to London's ICU for children or engage a team from The London Hospital to travel to Southend. Unfortunately, Southend Hospital do not have portable ventilator suitable for young children, so it is a case of put them on a ventilator at Southend or move them. This is dangerous and can cause other issues. What would be good is to put the Children on ventilators and to be able to move them quickly without having to detach them should they need to make that difficult journey into London.

We have been quoted £18,000 per portable ventilator and we are currently doing charity walks, children’s parties, Scentsy sales and bake sales to get there. Any help would be fantastic.”

After raising Laura and Richards plight and with the generosity of the following lodges, Southend on Sea No. 6484, West Essex No. 2561, Rochford Hundred No. 8922, Thames Mouth No. 6994 and Quoin Stone No. 6481 of London and not least the brethren of Essex via Chris Hicks, Provincial Grand Charity Steward and the team. The target was surpassed, and the Ventilator was delivered to Neptune Ward, Southend Hospital on 9 May 2023. Staff Training began on the 11th and a full rollout the following week.

Vicky Thompson, Paediatric Matron for Southend Hospital and the daughter of one of our Essex brethren, Tony Goater, explained how the ventilator worked and how this would benefit the children.

“The Hamilton T1 ventilator will enable us as caregivers to improve the lives of critically ill children and young people at Southend Hospital. Unlike previous transport ventilators which only delivered invasive ventilation, the new state of the art Hamilton system allows us to extend respiratory care by initiating non-invasive ventilation such as high flow oxygen therapy in the emergency department. The ventilator has a nine-hour battery life which will also enable us to transfer children and young people between hospital departments. The generosity of Laura and her supporters will make a life changing impact on our local community which as a hospital we are eternally grateful for.”

And finally, she broke our hearts by telling us that Essex Masons had truly saved the lives of many children.

The Province was represented by Geoff Turpin, Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM), on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master, Brian McGuinness of Southend on Sea Lodge and Steve Bruyel, Deputy Provincial Grand Charity Steward (DepPGCStwd).

Brethren there is another story within this story says Steve Bruyel, “It’s called ‘The Spotlight and Radiotherapy Appeal.’

The next piece of equipment needed is a scanner that highlights the exact area on the body that needs radiotherapy with pinpoint accuracy known as Surface Guided Radiation Therapy

These are the benefits: greater accuracy that eliminates the need for permanent placement tattoos - ends the need for restrictive closed-face masks, known to increase patient anxiety - improves clinical outcomes and protects non-malignant tissue - provides non-invasive positioning techniques in the set-up for treatment - cuts patient treatment time, providing greater patient capacity - decreases patient and equipment set-up time - the benefits current radiotherapy delivery is too often known to be uncomfortable and claustrophobic.

The cost of this scanner is £600,000 and the appeal stands at £150,000. I hope that we will be in touch soon and impose on your generosity once again.”

Photo L-R

Brian McGuinness of Southend on Sea Lodge, Geoff Turpin (APGM), Steve Bruyel (DepPGCStwd), Laura, Richard, Vicky Thompson (Paediatric Matron)