Family fundraising to create care packages for NHS nursing staff looking after their daughter

Katie Brookman.

Katie Brookman. - Credit: David Brookman

A Weston family are fundraising for hospital staff who are caring for their ill daughter by creating skin care products. 

David and Rebecca Brookman’s daughter Katie, aged 13, has been diagnosed with an extremely rare condition called ROHHAD Syndrome.  

It is slowly shutting down the autonomic systems in her body like breathing and water balance, but there are many other symptoms such as tumours, and Katie had a 10-hour operation in the summer to remove one from her spine.  

Katie and her parents spend months every year in hospital, which is a massive strain on the family as David works as a fire station manager in the Royal Navy at Yeovilton and Rebecca as a beauty therapist.  

Katie Brookman is in the high dependency unit of Bristol Children's Hospital.

Katie Brookman is in the high dependency unit of Bristol Children's Hospital. - Credit: David Brookman

Rebecca’s work has stopped because of coronavirus but to fill the time and to help deal with the emotional side of having Katie so poorly, Rebecca decided to start making up personal special skin care packages for the nursing staff of the Bristol Children‘s Hospital, using products which are kind and sensitive to skin. 

Rebecca is planning her next batch of packages for sea shore ward in Weston General Hospital, where Katie has weekly visits. 

Nurses and doctors wear PPE constantly so their skin has become sore.  

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David told the Mercury: “We are trying to give a little bit back and support the amazing people working on the wards Katie has spent time on. 

“We live day by day with Katie’s condition, some days are a real struggle but you have still got to try and do your normal routine things like going to the shops. 

“It is really difficult for all the family to deal with such complex medical needs and it has had a huge impact on us and our children over the past five years. 

“This is about helping the people who are looking after us and Katie because when we are on the wards we are always looked after really well.” 

Rebecca has surpassed her £1,000 fundraising target but wants to get more care packages to the nurses.  

Rebecca also created the packages in the first lockdown, making up creams from locally foraged plants.  

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