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Grace's spirit lives on in £40k gift to hospital

PUBLISHED: 16:04 28 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:54 07 September 2010

A £40,000 donation to St Mary's Hospital from a family who lost their daughter will go towards helping children suffering from sleeping disorders. The parents of 13-month-old Grace Bradburn have presented a cheque to Cosmic - Children Of St Mary s Intensi

A £40,000 donation to St Mary's Hospital from a family who lost their daughter will go towards helping children suffering from sleeping disorders.

The parents of 13-month-old Grace Bradburn have presented a cheque to Cosmic - Children Of St Mary's Intensive Care - to thank staff for looking after their dying daughter.

Grace was born with a defective immune system and tragically died last April when she contracted chickenpox which her body was unable to fight.

The hospital in Paddington has already earmarked £20,000 of the donation to fund state-of-the-art equipment for their specialist sleep laboratory.

The new apparatus will be used for research into children's sleeping conditions and will monitor breathing and brainwave patterns during sleep.

This will allow researchers to pinpoint more precisely the causes of poor sleeping patterns in children.

According to experts, children's bodies act quite differently from adults in a state of slumber because they sleep for longer, have more dream sleep and produce different hormones.

Losing sleep can also have a negative impact on their growth, development and wellbeing.

Stuart and Natalie Bradburn said they started raising the funds because they did not want their daughter's death to be in vain and were so happy with the treatment she received at St Mary's.

"Grace was a very loving child, who was always smiling," they said. "We have learnt a great deal from her courage, which we try to emulate through our fundraising.

"We hope that the £20,000 donation to the sleep laboratory will help prevent critical illness in other children.

"Everyone who has donated so far, in memory of Grace, can now see the tangible difference that their donation will make to others' lives.

"We continue to receive tremendous support from family and friends and the total amount they have donated in Grace's memory is staggering."

Director of the Paediatric Research Unit and chairman of Cosmic, Dr Parviz Habibi, welcomed the cash, saying it would help the hospital to develop a centre which was the first of its kind in the country.

"Our heartfelt thanks go to the Bradburn family, whose most generous donation has meant the instigation of this wonderful facility," he said.

"This means that Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will have one of the only

such facilities in the UK dedicated purely to research and the development of new therapies

for children with sleep-related disorders."

The Bradburn family and their friends are planning a new wave of fundraising activities for COSMIC this year.

sanchez.manning@hamhigh.co.uk

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