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Poole Hospital consultant completes epic swim off the coast of California

A local mother and hospital consultant has completed a Pacific Ocean swim to say thank you to Poole Hospital’s epilepsy service for caring for her son.

Dr Laura Tarry, 39, ‘escaped from Alcatraz’ after she swam over two miles of open water from the Californian island to San Francisco, USA in April.

Laura completed the challenge to say thank you to the team who have treated her son, Jude, five, since he was diagnosed with epilepsy just before his first birthday.

The swim has raised £1,100 for the epilepsy department. The funds will go to Poole Hospital Charity to purchase innovative equipment, improve facilities and provide finishing touches to complement the existing high quality care.

One of the potential ideas for the projects to go towards is to fund the provision of audio visual monitors for children families with lower incomes.

Jude has complex epilepsy and is resistant to conventional drug treatment. In 2018 his seizures proved almost impossible to control and he became completely debilitated by the disease.

The hard work of the children’s epilepsy team including Jude’s consultant Dr Munir Hussain and Jane Dunmore, Roald Dahl children and young people’s epilepsy nurse specialist, has resulted in better seizure control.

Further expert input was also given by Dr Andrea Whitney, paediatric neurologist at Southampton Children's Hospital, the University Hospital Southampton electrophysiology department and the Great Ormond Street Hospital’s paediatric neurology team.

Laura, pictured left with some of the support team, who is also a consultant anesthetist at Poole Hospital, said she is “incredibly grateful for the professional care.”

“As a family we are incredibly grateful for the professional care, assessment and treatment given by the amazing children’s epilepsy team,” said Laura.

“Dr Hussain has always made himself available for Jude and been able to support us with decisions and queries we have needed to make.

“When Katrina Bottle (Roald Dahl children and young people’s epilepsy nurse specialist) joined the team it was a breath of fresh air. During one of the most challenging, uncertain and traumatic times for our family, Kat provided Jude and ourselves with practical support and holistic care for our entire family.

“We want the monies raised to directly positively impact children and families affected by epilepsy.”

A total of £3,400 has been raised by Laura and the hospital isn’t the only place benefitting.

Money will also go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for research into novel drug therapies for complex genetic epilepsy and part of the donation will also be gifted to Jude’s Infant School to help support other children with special educational needs. 

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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