Doncaster boys spearhead campaign video for protective equipment for seriously ill children

Two Doncaster children are spearheading a campaign highlighting the need for personal protective equipment for seriously ill children.

By David Kessen
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 9:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 6:43 pm

Jack Kirsopp, aged 14, from Bessacarr, and two-and-a-half-year-old Edward Riley, also from Doncaster, appear in a specially created video catching and passing a box of PPE from the charity WellChild’s Covid-19 Response Team to a family in need.

Jack has an unknown undiagnosed neurological condition. He has multiple severe complex medical needs that are life limiting and he requires round-the-clock palliative care.

Many families caring for seriously ill children at home say they are at risk of reaching breaking point, having to deliver round-the-clock care without external help during the current crisis, because of the shortage of PPE for their carers, warns WellChild, who made the video.

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Jack Kirsopp and Edward Riley

The charity has received more than 350 urgent requests for PPE such as gloves, aprons, and face masks from families across the country, with numbers growing every day.

Tara Parker, director of programmes at WellChild, and also a parent carer for her 20-year-old daughter Abigail said: “I know only too well the pressure of obtaining PPE in this crisis. We have not received Abigail’s prescription since February and last week finally got a box of mixed supplies (many of which were not suitable) delivered by an NHS volunteer. The NHS has made a pledge that it will supply PPE for all carers, private, agency or NHS, but it is not reaching those who need it.”

She said this had been exhausting as Jack cannot be left unattended.

Jack is one of the 1.5 million people that are on the shielding protection list set by NHS England.

Victoria and partner Jonathan said they use antibacterial products on everything as a daily routine, due to Jack’s condition, but the family have had problems getting hold of disinfectant products.

She said: “We are not getting PPE which is a constant worry for us and making us lose sleep as we are petrified of Jack getting the virus. If he got this virus it would kill him.”