WellChild calls for support for BBC Lifeline Appeal

Posted on the 19th September 2019

Ethan, Lanna and Noah feature in the WellChild BBC Lifeline appeal this Sunday 22nd September on BBC One. The appeal, in aid of WellChild, will be aired at 14:05 and then available on BBC iPlayer. Presenter Gaby Roslin introduces you to Ethan, Lanna and Noah, all of whom relieve support from WellChild.

Visit WellChild’s BBC Lifeline Appeal page here >>

Ethan, who was born prematurely with complex health needs, is supported by WellChild Nurse Alex. Lanna has benefitted from the WellChild Helping Hands programme and now has an accessible outside space that she can enjoy. Noah’s family demonstrate the benefit of the WellChild Better at Home Training Units, to keep parents medical training up to date so they are empowered to feel confident providing care when living at home.

Kasandra and son Ethan


Ethan was born prematurely at 32 weeks. He is fed via a tube and needs a ventilator to help him breathe. Whilst in hospital for over seven months he lost is older sister Simone. His older brother Samuel was not only grieving for his sister, but was worried and uncertain about his brother who was very unwell too.

The family first met WellChild Nurse Alex after Ethan was put onto a ventilator. Alex taught the family how to care for Ethan and did everything she could to make sure they had the skills, the confidence and the equipment they needed to be at home. Since coming home Ethan has made good progress and with Alex’s help, the family has managed to stay out of hospital.

“Alex has held our hands and walked the journey with us from hospital to home and continues to support us. We never thought it would be possible to live with Ethan at home again.” – Kasandra, Ethan’s mum

Lauren and daughter Lanna


Four-year-old Lanna has an undiagnosed neurological condition which causes low muscle tone throughout her body. This makes walking or standing for long periods very tiring. She has learning difficulties and uses Makaton to communicate. She is tube fed, as she is unable to swallow. She chokes regularly which can be very worrying as she tries to put everything into her mouth.

Lanna has no sense of danger so requires close supervision both at home and out in the community. Lanna loves playing outside and needed a garden that was suitable for her needs

WellChild’s team of volunteers spent two days transforming the garden into a safe, fun and accessible space for Lanna and her family. The new garden will drastically improve Lanna’s quality of life at home and help her to develop and maintain her mobility.

“Lanna can now join in with all the fun and games we have outside in the garden as a family. Now our garden is a safe place and I don’t have to worry about Lana getting hold of something that could hurt her, it lifts so much stress from my shoulders. I just want to say a big thank you to WellChild. I think they are amazing and it’s going to completely change Lanna’s life.” – Lauren, Lanna’s mum

Jill and son Noah


Noah was born with a condition so rare that it was thought at the time he was the only baby in the UK to have been diagnosed with it.

He spent the first eleven months of his life in hospital where it was decided that he would need a tracheostomy and ventilator to help him to breathe. This is when his Mum and Dad met WellChild Nurse, Elaine.

Elaine supported them in arranging all the necessary measures to bring Noah home. She trained them in all aspects of his care, including in using the ventilator.

Noah has now been home for over seven years. He is a loving, happy boy who now attends mainstream school. He loves street dance and takes an active part in school activities where ever possible.

He still needs his ventilator and round-the-clock care, but thanks to support and training from WellChild, his parents have become expert carers and fierce advocates for the needs of families across the UK.

The BBC Lifeline film is presented by long time WellChild Ambassador, Gaby Roslin, who explains how demand for WelChild’s work continues to grow. Many of the 100,000 children currently living in the UK with serious health needs can spend months, even years in hospital, simply because there is no support enabling them to leave. Meanwhile, those at home are constantly challenged by inconsistent and inadequate levels of care and support. WellChild provides a UK-wide network of children’s nurses, home and garden transformation projects and family support services to help give these children the best possible chance to thrive at home, together with their families.

Gaby Roslin said:

“Over the years I have met many of the children and families supported by WellChild. Families who have been thrust into a life they never imagined – a life of relentless, round-the-clock medical routines, hospital admissions and emotional stress.  I have seen the impact that WellChild has had on their lives – turning families into expert carers, providing the emotional and practical support they need to thrive as a family.”

"The number of children living with serious long term health conditions is growing. Sadly, the support isn’t always there for them. With your help, WellChild will ensure they are not forgotten.”

WellChild Celebrity Ambassador Gaby Roslin

WellChild CEO, Colin Dyer said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the vital work which WellChild is doing every day with children, young people and their families across the United Kingdom. Please help us help this group of people who are too often out of sight and therefore out of mind by supporting this appeal.”

Viewers are asked to support the WellChild BBC Lifeline Appeal.

Support the appeal

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