Destination Disneyworld

A group of very sick children are going on a trip of a lifetime to Disney World Florida, thanks to Caudwell Children, a specialist charity that provides families of highly disabled children with support services, equipment, treatment and therapies.

Every year since 2007, Caudwell Children has given 25 children with life threatening illnesses, the chance to embark on a one-off overseas trip with their families, in an environment that is specifically designed to cater for high-dependency needs.

The children are very sick and are fully dependent on oxygen support, require oxygen support when they sleep at altitude on the aeroplane, or require emergency oxygen provision during the holiday itself. The Destination Dreams holiday is unique in that those selected for the trip receive 24-hour dedicated medical support from a team of specialist paediatric doctors and nurses.

This year, however, Caudwell Children needed to source a number of new oxygen canisters for use by the children during the trip, and the AlFayed Charitable Foundation was delighted to be able to supply them.

“Each child that travels on the Destination Dreams trip undergoes a professional risk assessment based on their medical condition,” explained Lisa Bates, Associate Director of Core Services at Caudwell Children. “As part of this process the children need to obtain a ‘fit to fly’ approval from their consultant. For those with a respiratory condition this won’t be obtained unless oxygen is available for them on the flight.

“Whilst there are supplies on all commercial planes they only have the capacity to support two patients at any one time.

“Clearly this doesn’t meet our requirements so the grant from the AlFayed Foundation – which will allow us to purchase three brand new oxygen concentrators – is vital in allowing us to get ‘fit to fly’ approval for more children.”

“Not every child gets to experience a holiday like this, so we are thrilled to be able to give this group of very sick children the opportunity to do so, safe in the knowledge that the right medical support is always on hand, 24 hours a day, thanks to Cauldwell Children.” – Camilla Al Fayed, the Al Fayed Foundation

“We can’t thank the Al Fayed Foundation enough,” said Lisa. “They have given us the ‘green light’ to take more children who require oxygen provision to Florida. The concentrators that they have funded will support up to 125 children each year on the trip, and that’s priceless.”