In June 2017 our Dad found himself in hospital with chest injuries, Dad took a turn for the worst and ended ventilated and in an induced coma. We were informed that Dad had too much CO2 in his blood and due to his chest trauma he was unable to get enough oxygen into his blood to correct this.

It was decided that Dad would be a good candidate for ECMO treatment. ECMO is a bypass machine that would take Dad's blood, oxygenate it (in the hope of removing the excess CO2) and return it to his body, allowing his lungs/chest to rest and a give them a chance to recover.

There was no guarantee that the ECMO treatment would work and we were informed that this was our Dad's only chance.

There are only a few places that can care for someone on ECMO and the machine can only be connected, transported and operated by specially trained individuals (or angels as i like to call them!)

The treatment was agreed, the ECMO machine was ordered and the ECMO retrieval team were on route from The Royal Brompton Hospital. That night was a long one........Dad was taken to The Brompton with the retrieval team via ambulance and was settled into ICU on arrival.

Over the coming weeks Dad was cared for in ICU by their dedicated and highly trained staff. Due to the complicated and high risk factors of the ECMO staffing ratios were high and Dad was monitored at all times. These weeks were long, scary and exhausting and it was difficult to stay so positive at times, but the staff were always happy to answer our MANY questions and explain things (often over and over) to us!

Fortunately for us the treatment was successful and after a long summer our Dad was sent home to The RD&E and then finally then he was allowed home and his is now doing well on his journey to recovery.

There are only a small amount of ECMO machines and spaces for ECMO treatment in the country and we know we were extremely lucky and so we want to help The Royal Brompton Hospital as much as we can so that other families are given the same chance we were.

After speaking to the fundraising team they informed me that an ECMO machine with all its trolley, tubes and accessories (to make it work) costs the best part of £100K! This is why we have chosen to fundraise for the critical care appeal which means that any money raised will go to the ICU to spend as they need, whether that be parts for an ECMO or improvements to the department.

We will be fundraising into the future so this page will remain open for the foreseeable to accompany all our future events.


More information about the charity / hospital and ECMO can be found here:

lucy collings