Izzy’s story

Izzy uses the services at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton. Here is her story...

We are always touched to hear from parents and families who have experienced our work first-hand. Having a child admitted to hospital can be a very anxious and stressful time for any family member, and we appreciate that sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference.

As the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, we aim to make life better for sick children in Sussex. We believe that no matter where they are, children should always be allowed to be children, which is why we’re here to fund items necessary to every child’s treatment.

Parent Miss Ellis contacted us via the Alex’s Play Team, to share this wonderful picture of her daughter Izzy (above) enjoying the SEA LIFE-themed sensory room at the Alex, and to let us know how we’ve helped make a difference to Izzy’s hospital experience. Here she tells us a little bit more about her…

“Izzy was born a healthy neurotypcial child. At seven-and-a-half months old she developed brain damage and was diagnosed with the rare metabolic condition called glutaric acidemia type 1. Since her diagnoses, any illness big or small could require her to be admitted to hospital for IV medication and IV fluids.

“Over the last seven years, Izzy’s been in the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital countless times, with admissions lasting anywhere from a couple of days to six-months. Due to Izzy’s physical disability, a lot of the toys on the ward are inaccessible to her. However, with thanks to the support of Rockinghorse, the hospital were able to purchase switch-adapted toys which meant Izzy was able to play regardless.”

It’s great to see Izzy enjoying the SEA LIFE-themed sensory room at the Alex, which is located within the dedicated play room on level 10 of the hospital. Partly funded by Rockinghorse, the sensory room opened in January 2016 and benefits hundreds of children who rely on the services at the Alex.

The unique space is an all-encompassing under-the-sea experience that is fitted with specialist equipment – including a ‘magic carpet’, interactive lighting and an effects projector to create a multi-sensory experience. The room is enjoyed by young patients of all ages and abilities, as it is wheelchair accessible. It provides an immersive therapeutic space away from the hospital wards and is a vital source of distraction for young patients during what can be a very stressful time.

Thanks to Izzy’s mum for allowing us to share her story. If you’ve experienced the work of Rockinghorse and would like to share your own story, then we’d love to hear from you. Please call us on 01273 330044 or email our PR & Communications Manager cheryl.piper@rockinghorse.org.uk.