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Vicky’s pedal power to tackle childhood liver disease

A paediatric nurse from West End in Woking is demonstrating her passion for children’s health by cycling 100 miles to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF). Vicky Scott, who works at the Royal Surrey County Hospital will be taking part in Prudential Ride London on August 4, having been inspired by a family she first met eight years’ ago during her work as a health visitor.

“I first met Fia and her daughter Toni when Toni was a new born baby” explains Vicky. “Although they had been discharged from hospital, Fia was concerned that Toni was not well. Toni was jaundiced with a particular tinge of green, she had pale cream coloured stools and a reluctance to feed. I felt that this was an indicator of something more serious and ensured that she was seen again. Our instinct was right. Toni was quickly transferred from her local hospital to Kings College Hospital in London where tests confirmed that she had the rare liver disease, biliary atresia. Despite immediate surgery, Toni went on to have not one but two liver transplants as Fia’s donation of part of her own liver sadly did not work.

“I have stayed in touch with Fia and Toni even though I am no longer their health visitor and I know that CLDF has been a real support to the family through some difficult times. Toni looks so well now – a credit to the wonderful care she has received over the years – and to her family. However she will continue to need the support of CLDF as she grows up and learns to manage her liver condition by herself.” 

It is the charity’s work with health visitors, as well as their support for families affected by liver disease, which has inspired Vicky to take up the Ride 100 challenge.

“Health visitors need to be able to see and support families in their own homes and the early weeks are crucial to not only building a professional relationship with the parents but spotting a health problem before it becomes an emergency,” she says. “CLDF provides specialist information to health professionals to help them spot the early signs of liver disease in babies and I know just how valuable this is.

“With the current Government funding cuts there are now only one third of the health visitors that there where when I left the role four years ago. It means that they cannot possibly carry out the specialist work that was historically allowed and my concern is that children like Toni will not now be picked up early enough.”  

Vicky is no stranger to taking on physical challenges: “I am 60 years young and have been running marathons for over 20 years. I took up road cycling last year and I am delighted to be cycling Ride 100 for CLDF. I know it will be tough but I am raising funds for a fantastic cause and hope this will encourage people to sponsor me!”

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. Health professionals like Vicky are essential in helping us to raise awareness of the signs of liver disease in babies and it’s wonderful that she has now decided to raise funds for us too. Ride 100 is a real challenge and we wish her all the best.”

You can support Vicky in Ride 100 by clicking here.

For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.

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