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Ringwood mum Dana Fry helps fund pioneering FibroScan liver device for Southampton Children's Hospital

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A RINGWOOD family’s fundraising efforts in memory of their 18-month-old daughter has helped a hospital acquire a specialist device to help others with her condition.

The kit has been secured for Southampton Children’s Hospital with support from Ringwood mum Dana Fry whose daughter, Mylah, was treated there having been born with a rare liver disease.

Mylah died in 2018 after suffering from complications.

Dana Fry (second right) with fundraisers and hospital staff
Dana Fry (second right) with fundraisers and hospital staff

Dana (27) said: “Dr Afzal and his team were amazing throughout Mylah’s short life.

“This is our way of giving something back and helping other children with liver disease.”

The pioneering FibroScan probe, which cost £9,750, allows doctors to gauge the health of a liver by testing for scarring, helping to identify if a patient is developing early-stage liver disease or cirrhosis. Southampton Hospitals Charity also contributed.

Mylah died in 2018
Mylah died in 2018

Dr Nadeem Afzal, consultant in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, said: “I’m really excited that, for the first time in Southampton, we can now provide this service in our local paediatric liver clinics.

“I want to say a special thank you to Dana Fry for her wonderful donation to Southampton Hospitals Charity, and for her fundraising.

“Her daughter Mylah’s legacy will help hundreds of other children with liver conditions.”

Although the equipment is already in use for adults being treated at University Hospital Southampton (UHS), a smaller probe is required for youngsters.

Until now they have instead had to undergo an invasive biopsy under general anaesthetic, or travel to London, where the FibroScan is in use.

One of the first patients to use the new FibroScan probe was seven-year-old Eden Mold, from Sway.

Dr Mark Wright and Eden Mold
Dr Mark Wright and Eden Mold

Mum Katie (39) said: “Travel to King’s London Hospital is a full day out and incredibly stressful, especially for a child with special needs.

“This will make a huge difference to our family, not just in terms of time but in the cost of travel too”

Dr Mark Wright, consultant hepatologist and gastroenterologist at UHS, said: “The arrival of the probe allows a quick on-the-spot assessment which saves time for our patients.

“Most importantly it is safe, painless and, because of its non-invasive nature, also eliminates the stress of a stay in hospital.

“Before we started using the FibroScan here, children would either travel to King’s London Hospital or undergo a biopsy, which would require a general anaesthetic at Southampton Children’s Hospital. It really will make such a significant difference.”

Southampton Children’s Hospital is one of the busiest outreach clinics from King’s London Hospital, seeing more than 250 children with liver conditions. Patients are referred from 11 hospitals across the Wessex region, covering four local counties.

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