News & Blog
In June 2022, Mandy and David Simpson’s 8 year old daughter Mae suffered a brain bleed and collapsed at home. She was rushed into Bristol children’s hospital and underwent a successful 10 hour lifesaving operation to remove a brain clot caused by a burst Arteriovenous Malformation. They didn’t know she had one and had no way of knowing it even existed. An AVM is an abnormal tangled mass of blood vessels like a very small golf ball. The walls are very thin and it burst.
When she woke, Mae had lost the ability to speak, swallow and move. She needed intensive care and rehabilitation for more than 5 months at Bristol children’s Hospital, where she became a familiar face to all the staff. She received wrap around, multidisciplinary care from doctors and nurses, rehabilitation team, speech and language team, psychologists, physiotherapists, play and occupational therapists and dieticians who helped her regain her skills and build her confidence.
Mae relearnt how to eat, sit, stand, walk and talk. Mandy and David took turns staying overnight sleeping next to Mae and the family also stayed in free accommodation provided by hospital Grand Appeal charity.
Mae with her nurses, physio Flora, eye doctor and school teacher Ben looking at the chicks.
Mae showed remarkable strength and determination throughout her recovery. She especially enjoyed time with her play therapist Issac who often accompanied her as she underwent procedures such as MRI’s and X-rays. He also provided sensory equipment tailored to children with limited movement and games for the family to play. Issac became a friendly non-medical face on the ward (who was not on her timetable) and they spent countless hours together playing Nintendo’s Untitled Goose in the Bluebell and Sunflower wards.
L-R: School teacher Ben, play therapist Issac, surgeon Will Singleton
Mandy says, ‘Mae’s recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. She left the hospital in a wheelchair in November 2022, used a Kaye walker and now moves independent of aids. She gradually returned to full time attendance at her normal school and normal class and her favourite activities like playing with her friends, piano and swimming. She smashes milestones every month. I felt very grateful watching her bounce on the bouncy castle at the school fete when just over a year ago, she was lying asleep in bed for most of the day. We don’t take anything for granted. She has shown incredible resilience and courage throughout this ordeal. Mae is on an improving trajectory emotionally, intellectually and physically and she works incredibly hard every day. We are so proud of her, and grateful to everyone who helped her and us along the way.’
For every electric vehicle charger Simpson & Partners sells, S&P proudly donate £1 to Bristol Children’s Hospital. The charity funds directly help support the children and families in these most needful and traumatic times. Below is a video of David raising awareness of the new amazing Jingle Jam building that will help families and children recover quicker from long-term rehab stays.
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, provides lifesaving medical equipment, family accommodation, comforts and specialist facilities to support critically sick children and their families who travel from across Bristol, the South West region and further afield for the specialist care and treatment that Bristol Children’s Hospital provides.