10 December 2022

Skydiving for Southampton Children’s Hospital

Your child has a bladder infection constantly for a whole year. You know something is wrong, and it takes getting admitted to Southampton Children’s Hospital to get to the bottom of the problem. This is what happened to Gemma Scott’s daughter which is why on 25 March, she will be jumping out of a plane to thank the nursing staff at the hospital. Gemma explains:

“Currently I work as a research and development administrator, however I’ve worked for University Hospital Southampton for the last four years.

We live in Southampton, and I have two children, Ryan, 11, and Connie, 7.

We went away to Disneyland Paris for Connie’s fourth birthday, and from there she started to get poorly, had a weak bladder, and seemed to get one infection after the other.

She would finish one dose of antibiotics then within less than a day, her kidneys would play up. It was like someone had flipped a switch and this went on for a whole year.

18 months into having the infections, Connie took a turn and was admitted through NHS111 and the emergency department.

We spent a night in the children’s emergency department while they investigated the cause of her symptoms.

This is where we met Dr Sarah Williams. She was amazing with Connie’s care, referring us to the Urology department for further help when we needed it. In the meantime, Sarah put Connie onto a prophylactic dose of antibiotics.

After scans, doctors discovered that Connie had Vesicoureteral Reflux of the bladder. This meant that both the tubes (ureters) that connect the kidneys to the bladder were leaking. This was what was causing the infections as she could never fully empty her bladder.

It was a relief to finally find out the cause of the infections.

She visited the John Atwell day unit within the children’s hospital for two injections into her bladder before an overnight stay on the G2 ward for monitoring. This was when she began a further prophylactic dose of antibiotics for another six months, and that was it.

While there is a lot of scar tissue on her kidneys, I feel reassured that she is closely monitored by the Urology team and Nephrologists as she only has 25% use of one kidney, and 75% in the other.

As I work for the NHS and have seen first-hand on the ward, I know there are a lot of children a lot worse off than Connie. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I know she is in good hands.

That’s why I signed up to Southampton Hospitals Charity 10,000 foot skydive in March 2023. With everything that has gone on with Connie, I figure life is too short not to do the things on your bucket list!

I’ve always wanted to do a skydive, and I will just have turned 40 years old the month before, so I thought why not. It is the perfect way to thank all the staff in the children’s hospital, especially Dr Williams, who has been so supportive of Connie. I really can’t thank them enough!”


Skydive for the NHS

Skydiving is, without doubt, one of the most thrilling activities you can ever take part in!

Make 2023 the year to conquer your fears and take on a skydive from either 10,000 or 15,000 feet.

Join us in March, July, or September 2023!

Articles you may be interested in

24 May 2024

Tackling period poverty at Princess…

Alison Boon, a dedicated Urogynaecology Nurse Specialist at Princess Anne Hospital, has joined with Southampton Hospitals Charity to spearhead a wonderful initiative to combat period poverty in Southampton.

Find out more

23 May 2024

UHS paediatric surgeon connects art…

Presented by Southampton Hospitals Charity, Mr Robert Wheeler, a paediatric surgeon at Southampton Children's Hospital has collaborated with the Arts Programme at University Hospital Southampton to curate an exhibition...

Find out more