Mum's abseil is a leap of faith for hospital

Gazette Series: Lisa Smith with her daughter Neve,5, and 10 month old Tom Lisa Smith with her daughter Neve,5, and 10 month old Tom

A MOTHER whose baby was born with kidney failure is preparing for a very different trip to hospital.

Lisa Smith, from Wotton-under-Edge, has roped 13 friends into abseiling down Bristol Children's Hospital in aid of Kidney Research UK.

Lisa, 31, discovered her son had serious problems with his kidneys at a routine antenatal scan and is hoping Tom, now 10 months, will be put on the waiting list for a transplant later this year.

The mum-of-three, who also has daughters Neve, 5, (CORRECT) and Bethany, 3, and her husband Paul have been in and out of the Bristol hospital since Tom was born.

"He had bladder problems in the womb and swallowed amniotic fluid which damaged both his kidneys," she told the Gazette this week.

"He gets a lot of urine infections and has to go into hospital for days at a time and have antibiotics."

She said Tom is now on dialysis and needs a lot of care.

"It is not difficult but it can be quite time consuming," said Lisa. "Tom has to go on a machine every night and we have to give him two injections a week or else he would be anaemic. We have to be religiously clean so he does not get an infection and change his dressing where he has the machine linked up.

"There are a lot of different things we have to do and he is on a lot of medication but he is doing well."

Lisa, of Pitman Place, has persuaded 13 friends to take part in the 120 feet abseil down the side of Bristol Children's Hospital, on Upper Maudlin Street, this Sunday.

"I was contacted by Kidney Research UK and asked to do the abseil," she said. "The more money they get for research the more chance there is of finding better drugs to treat kidney failure."

Tom has been treated at the hospital's specialist paediatric renal unit, making the challenge even more poignant for Lisa.

"I was feeling fine about it until I actually drove to the hospital and thought Oh my God I am going to be up there abseiling down," she said. "I am just trying to put it out of my mind until Sunday."

The group is hoping to raise at least £1,500 for Kidney Research UK. To sponsor Lisa call her on 01453 521937.

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