Sarah’s Life Support Appeal

Sarah Collins was just four years old when she came to Temple Street for emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumour. The surgery was a success but Sarah’s ordeal was just beginning.

24 hours after surgery, Sarah’s mum Selina was sitting at her bedside when – suddenly – everything stopped.

Sarah stopped breathing. All of a sudden there were twenty doctors in the room. One of the doctors got Sarah’s shoulders and he was squeezing her. But Sarah was just limp. I was shouting and screaming ‘Sarah it’s mam’. They told me to give her a kiss. And I thought I was kissing her goodbye. – Sarah’s mum, Selina

Sarah was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. Her condition was critical. She wasn’t able to breathe for herself, so she was put on a life support ventilator, which kept Sarah alive while the medical team battled to stabilise her condition.

We would just sit with her and hold her hand and chat to her. And we would watch the ventilator going up and down, and see Sarah’s chest rising with it. And we knew it was keeping her alive. I loved the sound of that ventilator. It was so reassuring. – Selina

But today, the ventilator that helped to save Sarah’s life is now over eight years old. It urgently needs to be replaced. We urgently need to replace four life support ventilators in our Intensive Care Unit with your support. That is why this special Life Support Appeal is so vitally important. We are hoping to replace our current ventilators with new Maquet Servo U Life Support Ventilators.

Click here to donate now and help us purchase
vital new ventilators for our Intensive Care Unit

Sarah’s mum Selina had a problematic pregnancy. So when Sarah was born, she and her husband Thomas thought Sarah was a little miracle. But then, within a few months, they started to notice that something was wrong.

She started having seizures. She could have up to thirty in a minute. She calls them her ‘wobblies’, because that’s how they feel to her. – Selina

Sarah was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex, a rare genetic condition which causes tumours to grow all over her body.

For the next two years, Sarah and her parents were constant visitors to Temple Street where our expert medical teams treated her and kept a careful watch on her condition. She was having MRIs every six months on her brain, just to keep an eye on the tumours, because they change. Then about two years ago they noticed something.

Sarah had developed a massive life-threatening tumour which was pressing on her brain and growing at a rapid speed. Sarah was immediately scheduled for emergency surgery to remove the tumour.

Sarah’s surgery lasted ten hours and was a complete success. All of the tumour was removed but, soon after, Sarah’s condition took a massive turn for the worse. That’s when she was rushed to ICU.

Click here to learn more about our amazing
Intensive Care Unit.

Just two days after she was admitted to ICU and put on her ventilator,  Sarah’s condition started to stabilise. Sarah started to breathe for herself once more and the team in ICU slowly began to wake her from her induced coma.

The ICU staff were absolutely out of this world amazing and couldn’t do enough for us. From the nurse who made sure we had somewhere to stay that night, to the social worker who made sure we were coping, to the lovely chaplain who brought Sarah a gigantic teddy bear. The kindness shown to us brought us to tears. – Selina

Sarah has now made a full recovery from her surgery. But she still has many challenges to face and her complex condition means she is a constant visitor to Temple Street.

Temple Street is like home now. The staff are absolutely amazing and Sarah is so well looked after in all her clinics. Sarah has appointments in dermatology, neurosurgery, neurology, cardiology, ophthalmology, endocrinology. They are literally covering every inch of her. – Selina