The Arsenal Foundation

Great Ormond Street’s anniversary

The Arsenal Foundation helped to fund a new Lung Function Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), which was opened by Arsène Wenger in 2012. We hear from two people with close links to the unit as it celebrates the tenth anniversary of its renovation.

Dr Paul Aurora, consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine and Lung Transplantation at GOSH: “We’ve had a lung function unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital treating children with respiratory problems for more than 50 years – when it opened it was one of the first in the world. We have a longstanding record of providing care to a very high standard, as well as high-level research that can influence how other hospitals treat patients. We train lung function physiologists for the UK and the rest of the world.

“Ten years ago, our facilities desperately needed updating. When Arsène Wenger and some of the Arsenal players visited our old facilities, we explained it would be like a top-class football team having to train on a tennis court. With their fundraising and support we knew we could create a state-of-the-art unit that matches the world-class care we provide, and that would enable us to do so much more for our patients.

“The children and their families love our new unit, which we were so proud to open back in 2012. There’s more space, including dedicated areas for waiting, and because we have more private rooms we reduce the risk of children catching infections when they come to hospital.

“Thanks to Arsenal’s generous fundraising all those years ago we were able to continue working throughout the worst time of the pandemic, including testing children who had developed Covid-19 themselves. This simply would not have been possible in the same way with our previous facilities.

“Although the department has gone through many changes over the years, we’ve always been committed to recruiting the very best talent from around the world. The impact of Arsenal’s donation goes beyond GOSH too, as our fantastic colleagues’ experience in these facilities mean they use their expertise to set up similar departments at other hospitals, helping to treat more and more children from across the UK.”

Juliet, mother of Emily and Luke, who rely on the services of the Arsenal Lung Function Unit: “Lung health is vital in managing cystic fibrosis. Both my children, Emily and Luke, rely on the specialist equipment and amazingly skilled team at the unit to make sure we’re keeping their lungs strong.

“The advanced testing that the unit offers requires GOSH staff to be really careful about Covid infections and they were always willing to adapt to make sure they could still do their crucial jobs amid all the PPE requirements – all while never stopping to make time to connect on an emotional level with the kids.

“We’re one of the lucky families to be able to attend the Lung Function Unit and to be treated by such excellent and warm staff.”

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