A Preston family is raising money so they can replace their son’s broken oxygen monitor.Advertisement
Jasmine Lovatt and John Ashley Watson from Ingol have created a GoFundMe page for the important piece of equipment, which is not funded by the NHS.
Their son, Matthew Watson, has chronic lung disease and relies on the monitor 24 hours a day.
Jasmine said: “We’ve used the monitor all day every day for the past two years, so we think it’s broken due to wear and tear. Unfortunately it’s now out of warranty with the manufacturer.
“We’re trying to get Matthew off the oxygen, but the hospital will only accept readings on a monitor that is hospital grade, which means more expense.
“If we can’t provide readings, we’ll have to go to the hospital where Matthew would be exposed to infection. This is especially the case with the Covid-19 situation, because our consultant doesn’t think a child in Matthew’s current health would survive it.”
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Healthcare professionals have tried to wean Matthew off his oxygen three times in the past few months. It’s a process that has been very hard on Matthew and his family.
Jasmine said: “While we try to get him off the oxygen Matthew gets tired and weak, and gets lazy with breathing and swallowing. This leads him to aspirate, which means he can breathe food, fluids or vomit into his lungs. He then gets aspiration pneumonia, and ends up on more oxygen than in the first place.”
Jasmine and John are also fundraising for a special pushchair that can carry an oxygen tank. Currently they have to carry around a heavy tank, otherwise they risk breaking Matthew’s pushchair or making it unstable.
Jasmine said: “It would be amazing to have one of these prams. I have a sore back so carrying a tank while pushing the pram is strenuous. It would give us all more freedom to get out and about more.”
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Matthew’s most recent case of aspiration pneumonia came in April.
Despite this and many other challenges, Jasmine says Matthew is a happy child.
“it doesn’t really affect him – he’s a really bubbly and smiley child, even when he’s poorly. He doesn’t know any different, and even seeing his brother and sister makes him happy.
“Matthew enjoys watching Peppa Pig and climbing, jumping and balancing. To say he’s poorly, he is pretty energetic.
“I know it’s a big ask, especially at this time with money being so tight, but it really would mean a lot for us to be able to get the funds together for the equipment.”
To donate visit John and Jasmine’s oxygen monitor GoFundMe page, or the special pushchair GoFundMe page.
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What do you think of Matthew’s challenges and his parents’ fundraising? Let us know in the comments.