Jake Morgan moves into Great Ormond Street Hospital's 'patient hotel' and one step closer to home

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

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The Independent Online

Kidney patient Jake Morgan has moved into family accommodation, taking him one step closer to going home after his transplant operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

The Independent’s Give To GOSH appeal has been following the four-year-old since November. We have seen him go through his transplant and last month heard how Jake spent Christmas Day on Eagle Ward, following his surgery. Speaking then, he said he was “wobbly” as his mother, Samantha, described her anguish when he woke in pain, calling “mummy, mummy, mummy” and she tried to distract him with presents.

Now, though, Jake and his family have moved into charity-funded family accommodation near the hospital to prepare for the 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.

But the biopsy results showed no sign of rejection and Jake was well enough to be discharged from Eagle Ward and move to patient accommodation near the hospital.

Give it up for GOSH

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 GOSH’s charitable arm 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, Lynsey Steele. She 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 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.

Arsenal and England striker Theo Walcott has become the latest star to endorse The Independent’s Give to GOSH appeal.

The footballer used a visit to the hospital to praise the “amazing” children who have “been through so much” but still have “incredible  determination”.

Walcott, who has been supporting the hospital for six years, said that he had already seen how donations were “transforming “ the hospital and urged readers to support The Independent’s appeal.

If you Give to GOSH, your donation will be matched by the Government, doubling its amount. To donate go to: http://ind.pn/1Mydxqt