HEALTHCARE: Boys saved by medics return to Royal Hospital for Children for fundraising celebration

 Leo and Sam McFaulds recovered after specialist treatment at Royal Hospital for Children.

By Lucy Ashton

A young family has been back to the Royal Hospital for Children to thank them for their ‘incredible’ care, after the two children fell dangerously ill with e-coli and needed dialysis and a kidney transplant.

Anthony and Louise McFaulds two boys Sam (now 5) and Leo (now 9) became dangerously ill with the infection which led to HUS, a rare complication which affects the kidneys.

After a few days it became clear that they both needed to be transferred to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow for specialist treatment.

Louise said: “We are so grateful to the Royal Hospital for Children and the amazing staff for everything they did for our boys. Without them, they wouldn’t be here today.

“After a period of dialysis, Sam recovered but it soon became clear that Leo would need ongoing dialysis and ideally a transplant.”

The successful transplant took place in the RHC in February 2021 and the whole experience led the family to make some dramatic decisions and move down from Elgin to be closer to the hospital. Mum Louise was delighted she was a match and was able to donate one of her kidneys to her son.

Louise said: “It was clear that the boys would need ongoing care and the hospital was central to that. The thought of living far away from the Royal Hospital for Children was terrifying so we moved back to and are now just 20 minutes away. This gives us peace of mind, knowing we have their support so nearby.”

As well as meeting their doctor Ben Reynolds, the family were able to cheer on Tom Goodwin, who is walking from Land’s End to John O‘Groats for Kidney Research UK.

Tom was born with four kidneys and had to undergo a life-saving operation aged just ten months. Thirty two years on he is fit and healthy and walking 1,000 miles to raise money for the charity and above all, raise awareness of kidney disease, which affects one in seven people in Scotland.

Tom said: “For the size of a city like Glasgow, that’s around 90,000 people will have a kidney problem at some time – enough people to fill Ibrox and Hampden at the same time.

“I support Kidney Research UK as I was so lucky and I want to give something back.”

Dr Ben Reynolds, a paediatric nephrologist – child kidney doctor – was also there to meet Tom.

Dr Reynolds said: “It was great to meet Tom and see Leo and Sam running about and doing so well. They have come a long way.

“What Tom is doing is incredible – walking the length of the UK. As well as raising lots of money, he’s also got people talking about kidneys, what they do and things that can go wrong. He is a great example of people who can come through kidney treatment and live long, healthy lives.”

Louise, Anthony Leo and Sam were there to wish Tom well for the Scottish leg of his remarkable journey.

Louise said: “The boys have loved being at the hospital to cheer Tom on. What he is doing for a charity so close to our hearts is incredible and ensures vital can continue. We are also so grateful for everything both hospitals have done for us, including a successful transplant. They are amazing.”

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