Moving into Great Ormond Street Hospital's 'patient hotel' takes Jake one step closer to home

The four-year-old has moved into charity-funded family accommodation near the hospital after his kidney transplant

Jake has moved into family accommodation at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), taking him one step closer to going home after his kidney transplant operation at the end of last year.

The Give to GOSH appeal – from The Independent and the London Evening Standard – has been following the four year old since November. Jake spent Christmas Day on Eagle Ward, following his surgery. Speaking then, he said he was “wobbly.” His mother, Samantha, described her anguish when he woke in pain, calling “mummy, mummy, mummy” and she tried to distract him with presents.

Charity-funded family accommodation

Now, though, Jake and his family have moved into charity-funded family accommodation near the hospital to prepare for his eventual move home to Barnet in north London. Samantha said the news was “amazing” and “totally unexpected” as Jake had a rocky period between Christmas and New Year when doctors performed a biopsy on his new kidney amid fears it may have been facing rejection.

Samantha said, “It has been a bit of a nightmare since Christmas so the news we could leave hospital was an amazing surprise. Jake clapped his hands together and he’s been singing today since they told him. I hope it all stays positive.”

Jake needed a transplant because he was suffering from severe irreversible kidney failure and his kidney function was worsening to the point that he would need dialysis. To avoid this and its complications, a pre-emptive transplant was performed.

'Making excellent progress'

Jake’s doctor, Stephen Marks, clinical lead for kidney transplantation at GOSH, said, “Jake had a kidney transplant biopsy on New Year’s Day as his blood tests had shown a deterioration in his kidney function.”

“However, his kidney transplant biopsy was normal, without signs of rejection, and his kidney transplant function continues to improve every day, although not yet back to his baseline. He is continuing to make excellent progress. Although he still requires close monitoring, he is well enough to be discharged to our patient hotel.”

The family moved into the accommodation on Monday night. It is funded by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to allow families to regain their independence and adjust to life outside of hospital, while remaining close to expert medical care. Earlier in his stay, Jake also received help from the charity in the form of time with a play specialist. They continues to support Jake after helping him to get over his fears before his surgery.

At Christmas, his mother spoke of her desire for “normality” and for him to be able to do simple things such as “sit on the floor” in the family’s front room, not just in a hospital bed. 

Small steps

Small steps like this are huge for Jake, and earlier this week he was able to wear clothes, not pyjamas, for the first time since his operation.

“Until now we had been spending a couple of hours each day over at the flat, but Jake never wanted to go back to hospital, which was really hard. It is our home now for the moment,” added Samantha.

Give it up for GOSH

Could you give up something you love for January, raising vital funds while doing so? Click this link to sign up via JustGiving now.

Donate here to ensure GOSH can continue to be a home away from home for sick children and their families; and house the skills and expertise that will help them to get better.