Six-year-old girl with cancer sees promises dashed by Sick Kids move

Over the past few weeks a six-year-old girl undergoing gruelling cancer treatment at the Sick Kids hospital in Sciennes has been given something really positive and exciting to focus on.

Over the past few weeks a six-year-old girl undergoing gruelling cancer treatment at the Sick Kids hospital in Sciennes has been given something really positive and exciting to focus on.

Her parents and the nurses told her she’d be moving by ambulance, with her very own doctor to look after her on the journey, to a fantastic new hospital which had lots of toys and wonderful things to see and that she would be the first VIP patient through the door.

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But with the sudden announcement on Thursday afternoon that the new £150m world-class Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Young People in Little France, would not be opening due to problems with the ventilation in the critical care unit, Lesley King and her husband were plunged into a fresh nightmare as their daughter’s critical cancer has been put on hold as medics try to find somewhere for it to be administered.

Ms King, an environmental consultant from Roslin, Midlothian, said: “Her treatment was delayed by a week to allow for the hospital move since they couldn’t move her once the chemo had made her very sick.

“She was due to move to a purpose built isolation room on Tuesday that would allow us to control infection risk. Instead they’re scrabbling around trying to find space for her in the current ward in a small cubicle that opens directly onto the main ward. It’s a mess.”

Ms King and her husband, a police officer, are taking it in turns to comfort their daughter and stay with her in the hospital while the other looks after their younger child.

“When we told our daughter she would not be moving she cried.

“I know all those things about making the move special might seem unimportant but little things like that mean a lot for child. Being treated for cancer is very emotionally scary for a child.”

“I’m feeling very unhappy and scared. But everything about getting your daughter treated for cancer is scary.

“We don’t know what effect of the delayed treatment will be.

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“We had prepped ourselves physically and mentally for the chemo. We have no option now as she has started her chemo and is there for the foreseeable future.”

While her parents had been promised their daughter would have a room with two double doors and a clean, sealed environment at the new hospital, the little girl is being treated in a cubicle off the main ward which people tramp through with dirt on their shoes. The cubicle does not have a toilet so she has to use a potty.

Ms King added: “The Sick Kids is in chaos. A lot of the staff have been concentrating on packing while the clinical staff prepare to move.

“For the children it was a party atmosphere ahead of the move with fun activities and they were given pens to write graffiti messages on a wall. But that’s all changed overnight.”