Date:22 June, 2011

Visit to Paediatric Liver Unit

Doctor Dino Hadzic, Dawn & Doctor Tushar Vince at King's Hospital

Doctor Dino Hadzic, Dawn & Dr Tushar Vince

One of our supporters ran in this year’s London Marathon and raised a large amount of money for Alpha-1 Awareness. We were overwhelmed by the size of this donation. The athlete, who is an Alpha herself, has a young son (PiZZ alpha) who is treated at King’s Hospital, London, under Dr Dino Hadzic, at the children’s liver unit. We therefore felt it appropriate to give Dr Hadzic £1000 for his ongoing research into the effects of Alpha 1 on the liver of PiZZ children.

While trustees of the charity were in London for a Patients In NICE meeting, they arranged to meet Dr Hadzic at the Hospital and present him with the cheque personally.

Here is what Dawn wrote about the visit.

“The highlight of the few days that we spent in London was the visit to King’s College Hospital. There were no alpha children in the hospital on the day we were there. Doctor Dino Hadzic was kind enough to spend time with us and he personally escorted us around the Children’s Unit.

We were taken to all the departments concerned with children’s liver. There were two very young babies in the intensive care unit. One of these patients was from Saudi and was being treated privately. This demonstrates the international reputation of King’s.

I presented our cheque to the Doctor Tushar Vince and her two nurses: they just said WOW look at that! Dino just smiled and said how much we support them. They asked why we were working in the charity, and I said I was a grown up Alpha. They said they had never met one of them.

We went to the day ward and spoke to the sister in charge. Then we went to the ordinary ward and the attached parents’ room. The kitchen section of the room even had a dishwasher.. We were shown the playroom where the children are not allowed to run around, Dino said it was better to sit them in front of a screen with lots of games. There was also a schoolroom for the older children. The saddest room was for intensive care of older children. In this ward there was a very sick young boy: Dino did not speak about him.

It felt warm in all the rooms and they were homely, caring and friendly. The Variety Club, Sunshine Club and Toni and Guy, the hair people, all sponsor a huge amount of money to the unit. Dino asked where our money was from and we told him about our supporter and the London Marathon, he said “Ah, X’s Mum”. We spoke about a family from Portugal, who are members of Alpha-1 Awareness. Dino knew the familiy’s child’s name and said he would be seeing him in July. He is such a wonderful Doctor. I told him about the births of Amber, Eddie and Lily, to charity members. I said he must have done something right in London, at the European Congress last year. He looked shocked and said, well no, not me but perhaps my presentation at the congress helped parents if they were thinking about another baby . . . “

Dawn Heywood-Jones