THE family of a three-year-old girl who died of meningitis have returned to the hospital where she was treated after raising nearly £60,000 to pay for vital equipment.
Katie Peach, who lived in St John's Drive, Newhall, died a few days before Christmas in 2011 after contracting a meningococcal infection. Since then, her family, friends and others have raised £57,000 in her memory.
The money, which they donated to Nottingham Hospitals Charity, has been used to buy an ultrasound scanner and a special cooling mat – to help regulate the temperature of children at Nottingham Children's Hospital – among a raft of other equipment.
Now, Katie's parents, Sara and Kevin Peach, have returned to Queen's Medical Centre, in Nottingham, to see how their donation is helping poorly youngsters.
"The medical staff have chosen equipment that Katie would have had used on her, and which will help treat many other poorly children in the future. The nurses are chuffed to bits with the difference it will make," said Mr Peach.
Consultant in paediatric intensive care at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust Dr Patrick Davies said: "I am amazed at the efforts which the Peach family made to raise money for us.
"We cannot thank Kevin and Sara enough, and will ensure that Katie's memory is maintained."
A string of fund-raising efforts were arranged by the Peach family and their friends, family and work colleagues.
These included a sponsored cycle ride by 11 riders to Peppa Pig World, in Hampshire, to mark Katie's fourth birthday, a three-peaks challenge, sponsored slims, sky dives, a three-hour zumba marathon and a host of different challenges.
"We have had tremendous support from family, friends and people we don't even know," said Mr Peach.
"It really got us through the first year because it gave us something to focus on. People keep saying it's us that's raised the money, but it's not really.
"We raised a fair amount but we were a focal point for other people who raised as much as us. It was raised by hundreds of people."
Katie was a normal happy three-year-old when she went to bed with a slightly raised temperature on December 7, 2011.
Mr Peach added: "The following morning our lives would be changed forever.
"From having what looked like a bruise on her eyebrow to being in accident and emergency to be told she had a meningococcal infection took only an hour and at 8.45am on December 9 would be the last time we saw Katie conscious.
"Despite the magnificent efforts of the staff at the Queen's Medical Centre, we decided Katie had suffered enough and, on December 20, Katie lost her fight for life.
"It is the efforts of the amazing staff at PICU we want to help so that in Katie's memory some other family may not have to go through what we have."