Last year, your continued support made it possible for us to award £506.408 in hospital grants.  The projects that money has funded have, and will continue to, improve experiences and outcomes for thousands of children at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales. 

Karen and Nerys look after children with complex bladder and bowel conditions at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales. They see children with bladder urgency, frequency, and wetting, and wanted to offer a treatment that didn’t involve medication or invasive procedures. Some medications can have unpleasant side effects like dry cracked lips and poor concentration.

Two years ago, the team decided to try a new treatment called neuromodulation, which helps to stimulate nerves in the back to help improve bladder function. This treatment is given through something called a TENS machine. Children take these compact, wearable machines home and use them for an hour a day, every day for 12 weeks. After which, they should see an improvement in their symptoms.

The team ordered a few machines initially but after the incredibly positive response from patients, they were successful in applying for a Noah’s Ark Charity grant to fund 20 more. Before receiving the grant, Karen and Nerys had to put patients on an eight-month-long waiting list as all the machines they had were being used by other children. They had to turn people away.

Karen says: “Our families were ecstatic when we rang them to say we’d had a delivery of TENS machines and did they want to come in so we could get them all set up. It’s lovely to see the look on the children’s faces too. They’re shocked that this simple, non-invasive treatment has been so effective. They’re really impressed that they can pop it on their trouser band and do things like play video games or watch their favourite programme on TV or even take their dog out for a walk. Because they’re so compact, they find it so easy to use.

It’s nice for us to say to families that we’ve got some equipment they can try and that they don’t need medication and in a big way that’s thanks to the grant from the Noah’s Ark Charity.”