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19th Oct 2018
Junior fundraiser George Mathias has raised more than £55,000 since he began fundraising for Alder Hey Children’s Charity last year to say thanks for saving the life of his little brother James who was born prematurely.
He also co-hosted the Alder Hey Children’s Charity Run with George ball alongside presenter Ben Shepherd, which raised more than £700,000.
The funds he has raised have already paid for heated cots for babies and an entertainment system to distract patients during MRI scans, but were most recently used to purchase Sialendoscopy equipment for use by the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department.
The equipment enables doctors to treat problems in the salivary glands without making an incision into the patient’s neck or throat.
The sialendoscopy telescope has a diameter of between 0.8mm and 1.1mm – less than the average pencil lead. It is a minimal invasive technique, which allows doctors to view the salivary gland ducts through the natural openings in the floor of the mouth and inside of the cheek.
ENT consultant Ravi Sharma said: “Swelling and inflammation of the salivary glands is not that common in children, but those who do have it get recurrent problems.
“Not only is it painful, but it can cause obvious swelling, which makes the patient self- conscious affecting their confidence at school.
“Previously the only option we had was to offer the patient anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics, but the problem often re-occurred and we would have to repeat the process until the child eventually grew out of it.
“The new equipment allows doctors to investigate the problem using the tiny telescopes, flushing of the ducts, administering steroids or removing debris without any external incisions and potential complications of nerve damage.”
He added: “We are extremely grateful to George and his family for raising the funds to purchase this equipment, which will mean that in future we can treat more patients without surgery preventing prolonged pain and trauma.”
The first patient to benefit from the new technique is seven-year-old Olly Walker who had suffered from recurrent swelling and pain for more than 18 months.
Mum Amy Walker said: “Olly had lots of pain and swelling in his throat, he had been referred for multiple tests and had lots of different medicine.
“At one point he ended up with an infection in his throat and there was a huge swelling on his face.
“We were told if we had any more problems we had to come straight to A&E, Olly was admitted earlier this year and spent four days at Alder Hey.
“The doctors were waiting for this piece of equipment to arrive, so they could investigate what was happening and inject medication into the area using the telescope.”
She added: “Since having the procedure Olly hasn’t had any more problems, there hasn’t been any pain or inflammation.”
George and his brother James were invited to Alder Hey to meet with consultants Ian Street and Ravi Sharma to find out more about how the equipment worked.
George started fundraising with the aim of raising enough money to buy new equipment for Alder Hey to help save other children’s lives, so more children can grow up together with their brothers and sisters.
In 2017 he received a Pride of Britain award for his commitment to helping other children, by running a sponsored mile for every month his little brother James had been alive.
Alder Hey Children's Charity