Simon’s lasting legacy for his mum will mean respiratory patients can breathe more easily
11 February 2015
Staff on Rochford Ward, home of the respiratory unit of Southend Hospital, were almost lost for words recently when they received the amazing donation.
A donation of 10 nebulisers, worth over £900, and a cheque for
£700 that will mean patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD) will no longer be short of breath.
That cheque will now be used to purchase three oxygen analyser
machines, but none of this would have been possible without the
driving force of Simon Dempsey and his fundraising efforts.
Simon, 38, from Southend, had a very personal reason
for getting involved, fulfilling the wish of his mum who passed
away late last year after being a patient on the ward.
He said: "I lost my mum, Irene Dempsey, late last
year from a lung cancer illness. Mum was always a big fundraiser
for others and planned to raise funds after getting out of hospital
for some new nebulisers, as there was a shortage when she was on
"Unfortunately my mum didn't get to see her wish
through so it was just the natural thing to do to try and fulfil
Simon runs a full time martial arts school, Southend
Combat Academy in Grainger Road, and had no trouble enlisting the
help of children from his Little Spartans mixed martial arts class,
who completed a sponsored run they organised.
The youngsters, including Simon's own three
children, completed three laps of a 3.2 mile circuit, including
sprints up the cliff steps, and raised nearly £2,000 from friends
and family. All the more impressive as some of them taking part
were as young as six.
All the hard work and training paid off, as Simon
explained: "This was not only enough for a couple of nebulisers,
but enough for ten nebulisers and there was enough change to buy
the oxygen analysers which there was also a shortage of. I really
can't thank everyone involved enough for helping me full fill my
mother's wishes, especially young Josh who not only lost his nan to
a similar illness but for also being our top fundraiser."
Lisa Ward, lead respiratory nurse, said this generous donation
would make a big difference. She said: "This equipment will enable
us to continually monitor the exact amount of oxygen we give. The
numbers of patients requiring this treatment increases hugely
during the winter months and three extra analysers will make a real
difference to our patients.
"These children are an inspiration and wanted to make a
difference, and they really have. All the nurses and doctors
here would like to say a big thank you to each and every one of
Image:Children from Little Spartans stood with Rochford Ward staff
and some of the donated nebulisers.