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New book to help children facing kidney transplant

02 November 2023

A new set of books have been launched, specially tailored to support children with kidney disease being treated at Leeds Children's Hospital or being treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital. 

Both hospitals have been gifted 100 of the 'My New Kidney’ full colour hardback books created by Get Better Books to help children prepare for a kidney transplant. The books are hand finished with holographic sticker, gold envelope and letter, felt tips and printed drawstring bag. They will also receive 60 books designed for older children and teenagers.

White front cover of a childrens book with a bear drawn on it and the title My New Kidney
My New Kidney - Nottingham edition

‘My New Kidney’ 

The playful, interactive books show what to expect in the lead up to and after their operation using a fun approach to alleviate anxiety. Titled ‘My New Kidney’, the book for children is designed to encourage the recipients to colour, comment, write questions, draw and stick things in – creating important engagement so families can explore the transplant process together. A book specifically designed for older children and teenagers will also be available; this is called ‘The Official Leeds Children's Hospital Passport’ and The Official Nottingham Children's Hospital Passport’.  

The books have been made bespoke to the patients and the hospital they attend. Including a map of their relevant city showing the children a route home from their operation.  

Support for children and families 

“We wanted to offer support to families, at what can be a very stressful time,” explained Chris Beyga, our trusts manager. “The children will often have been through a great deal in their short lives. The team at Get Better Books have worked closely with both hospital teams, at Leeds Children’s Hospital and at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, to create this fantastic guide for children, siblings and their parents.”  

All children who are preparing for a transplant will receive their own copy of the book which comes with felt tips and a ‘My New Kidney’ drawstring bag. The book can be used by the children and their families to talk about the transplant before, during and afterwards.

Dr Amanda Newnham, consultant of paediatric nephrology at Leeds Children's Hospital said: “To find out you need a kidney transplant can be a scary time for children and their families. These books are a fantastic resource to help explain what is a complex and unfamiliar process, taking them step by step through their upcoming journey to transplant in a fun and playful way. These books aimed at children and young people of different ages will be an invaluable resource to help them on their transplant journey and a wonderful record for them to keep forever.” 

Three men and three females standing in a line holding the new books at Leeds Children's Hospital
The Leeds Children’s Hospital renal team receive the books from Kidney Research UK
Children's hospital staff and a young boy holding the Get Better Books.
The Nottingham Children’s Hospital renal team and patient 11-year-old Reggie Sheraton

Building on previous work

Non-profit publishers Get Better Books have previously worked with Great Ormond Street Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to create bespoke patient materials for children facing a range of clinical conditions. Their designer and illustrator Georgina Potier said: “We started Get Better Books with the goal of creating beautiful, interactive books and communication design to help paediatric patients understand their treatment, alleviate anxiety and get better!”

Louise Knight, head of fundraising at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “We’re so pleased to help fund these books for young renal patients at Nottingham Children’s Hospital. We hope the books will help children and young people feel more informed, and also offer a welcome distraction, ahead of their kidney transplants. We are only able to fund projects like this thanks to everyone in the local community who supports our Big Appeal for Nottingham Children’s Hospital.”

The gifted Get Better Books have been possible thanks to funding from Kidney Research UK, Leeds Hospitals Charity and kidney patient Oliver Cahill for the Leeds Children’s Hospital, Nottingham Hospitals Charity and Sheffield Area Kidney Association (SAKA). 

This work builds on successful partnerships with Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital. 

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