I often think about what it must be like to be a young patient at Royal Brompton or Harefield hospital. How would I have coped with having my teenage years disrupted by a serious heart or lung condition?

I am constantly in awe of the resilience our young patients show. As well as the physical and psychological challenges of battling illness so early in life, long stays in hospital can mean huge disruption to their educational progress and social lives. Of course, they benefit from – and massively appreciate – the quality of care they get at our hospitals, but what can we do to help minimise the impact on these other aspects of their lives?

This question is at the heart of a new appeal, launched this week, which focuses on the specific challenges faced by young patients at Royal Brompton and Harefield. One of the key projects that we want to fund as part of our Young Patients’ appeal provides continuing educational support to patients aged 16-24, to help them keep up with their peers. This is only one of the ways we support young patients at the hospitals. You can read more about it here.

The Charity team is in the process of planning our work for the new financial year and our Young Patients’ appeal is just one part of how we plan to maximise our impact for the benefit of heart and lung patients. I will keep you updated on how you can make a difference.

Thank you for your support, now and always.