A RINGWOOD mother who lost her 18-month-old daughter to a rare liver disease has helped fund a pioneering piece of equipment to help other children.

Dana Fry’s daughter Mylah was born with a rare liver disease and was a regular inpatient at Southampton Children’s Hospital, but died following complications in 2018.

Dana and her family have raised almost £10,000 for a FibroScan for the children’s hospital, which allows doctors to gauge the health of a liver by testing for scarring – helping identify if a patient is developing early-stage liver disease or more advanced forms, including cirrhosis.

Although the equipment is already in use for adults being treated for liver disease at University Hospital Southampton, a smaller probe is needed for youngsters. Until now they have had to undergo an invasive biopsy under general anaesthetic, or travel to London, where the FibroScan is in use.

But thanks to the fundraising efforts of Dana and Southampton Hospitals Charity, the hi-tech piece of kit costing £9,750, has now been bought and is being used at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

The 27-year-old said “it feels amazing” to have helped get the FibroScan. She added: “Dr Afzal and his team were amazing throughout Mylah’s short life. This is our way of giving something back and helping other children with liver disease.”

Dana has been holding various fundraising events including a ladies night, sponsored walk, children's disco, as well as selling Easter and Christmas hampers, which she says has helped her get through the loss of her daughter.

Dr Mark Wright, Consultant Hepatologist and Gastroenterologist at University Hospital Southampton said “The arrival of the probe allows a quick on-the-spot assessment which saves time for our patients. Most importantly it is safe, painless and, because of its non-invasive nature, also eliminates the stress of a stay in hospital.”

“Before we started using the FibroScan here, children would either travel to Kings London Hospital or undergo a biopsy, which would require a general anaesthetic at Southampton Children’s Hospital. It really will make such a significant difference.”

Southampton Children’s Hospital is one of the busiest outreach clinics from Kings London Hospital, seeing more than 250 children with liver conditions. Patients are referred from 11 hospitals across the Wessex region, covering four local counties.

Dr Nadeem Afzal, Consultant in Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition added: “I’m really excited that, for the first time in Southampton, we can now provide this service in our local paediatric liver clinics.

“I want to say a special thank you to Dana Fry for her wonderful donation to Southampton Hospitals Charity, and for her fundraising. Her daughter Mylah’s legacy will help hundreds of other children with liver conditions.”

Dana thanked everyone who has helped her fundraising and added: “I couldn’t have done it without them.”


Get more Forest Journal news.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

Email newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.