Posted on 16/03/2020

Lucy, 14, shares the importance of maintaining hydration levels in hospital

Lucy, 14, shares the importance of maintaining hydration levels in hospital

As part of Nutrition and Hydration Week 2020 we’re sharing the incredible story of 14-year-old Lucy Brimecome, who knows first-hand the importance of staying hydrated whilst in a hospital environment.

Early this year, we received an email from Lucy’s mum and dad – Paul and Mel Brimecome – after a piece of equipment they bought from us helped aid their daughter’s hydration levels whilst in hospital. Diagnosed with scoliosis in 2018, 14-year-old Lucy, who is naturally active and sporty, found the symptoms of her condition were becoming more and more debilitating, to the point where she was in constant pain, forcing her to give up much-loved hobbies like rock-climbing, tap and ballet dancing.

Eventually unable even to sit in one position for any length of time, Lucy faced radical surgery to fuse her lower spine, inserting 2 titanium rods and 14 screws. Lucy’s family were worried about their daughter’s hydration levels whilst recovering from the operation, as they knew she would be unable to sit up and drink normally.

Lucy's spine before and after her operation

A bottle designed to maintain hydration levels

With the very real risk of Lucy’s hydration levels slipping whilst in hospital, and therefore slowing her recovery, dad Paul began researching solutions online and bought The Hydrant Bottle from us. As it turned out, this simple piece of equipment transformed Lucy’s recovery, allowing her to drink whilst lying flat to keep her hydration levels up and enabling nurses to measure and adapt her fluid intake much more accurately – reducing the need for invasive drips, needles and IV fluids.

“No parent wants to see their child in pain, so it was a family mission to ensure Lucy had the best treatment and chance of recovery.”

Paul and Mel were so impressed by the difference The Hydrant Bottle made to Lucy’s recovery, they emailed us to share their story and ask whether we would consider donating a number of Hydrant Bottles to the spinal unit at Southampton Children’s Hospital, where Lucy received her outstanding treatment – a request we were more than happy to grant!

Assisting hydration levels at Southampton Children’s Hospital

We approached Mark Moran MBE, from “Hydrate for Health” who designed The Hydrant Bottle, and together, in February this year, we donated 60 Hydrant bottles to the spinal unit at Southampton’s Children’s Hospital, along with a number of feedback forms for patients whose hydration levels may be at risk of falling during their hospital stay.

So far, nurses and physios on the spinal unit have heralded the benefits of the bottle and patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with 100% of patients surveyed so far agreeing that the Hydrant Bottle increased their independence whilst in hospital, enabled them to drink more fluids, helped prevent urinary issues and should be offered to all patients who can use it to help maintain their hydration levels. We will continue to monitor feedback of the Hydrant Bottle over the coming weeks.

An astonishing recovery and a happy ending

We were thrilled to hear that just 8 weeks after her operation, brave Lucy had made a truly wonderful recovery and performed in a dance show where she and her teacher, Louisa Chandler, also hosted a raffle to raise funds for the fantastic team working on the spinal unit at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

“I’ve been going to Melana Dance in Emsworth since I was 4, and my teacher Miss Chandler was brilliant when I was in hospital, sending videos of the show dances as encouragement. This became my goal, although no one believed I’d be well enough in time! The dream of dancing again gave me the confidence to go for the operation, so being back up on stage was my dream come true.”

Lucy and her dance teacher Louisa Chandler

The raffle at the dance show raised £500 and Lucy will be presenting a cheque to the G3 spinal ward at Southampton Children’s Hospital, during her 3-month check-up in March, which coincides with Nutrition and Hydration Week 2020!

Thank you so much to Paul, Mel and Lucy for sharing their story with us and for enabling us to be involved in the donation of 60 Hydrant Bottles to the G3 spinal Ward at Southampton Children’s Hospital. We sincerely hope these bottles will continue to improve the hydration levels of children staying on the ward and help aid their recovery just like Lucy who, as you can see, is very much returning to her happy, cheeky self!

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