Year 11 pupil is nuts about saving hospital

Danine Eary, 15, left, and friend Lauren Hatch, 16, of Hemel Hempstead are petitioning for more help with their health problems.     Danine has a nut allergy and'and Lauren as asthma.
Danine Eary, 15, left, and friend Lauren Hatch, 16, of Hemel Hempstead are petitioning for more help with their health problems. Danine has a nut allergy and'and Lauren as asthma.

A fully-functioning hospital is so important for our community, says a student whose intolerance to nuts could kill her.

Danine Eary, 15, of Bennetts End, feels so passionately about Hemel Hempstead’s need for an Accident and Emergency unit she has launched a petition to try and kick-start a change.

The project began as part of her Longdean School citizenship coursework with classmate Lauren Hatch, 16, of North End, who may also need to rely on emergency care because of her asthma.

Danine said: “It started as schoolwork but we felt like we had to do more.

“My allergy is life-threatening. If I even go near the smell of nuts I will have to be rushed to Watford Hospital, and that can mean a long time before I get treatment.

“Because many people could be in a position like that or worse, we thought there was a wide range of issues to campaign about.”

The pair have now written to MP for Hemel Hempstead Mike Penning and Dacorum Borough Council chief executive Daniel Zammit.

They have also designed a questionnaire to gauge fellow pupils’ opinions about hospital facilities at the Hillfield Road site, where the Accident and Emergency unit closed its doors in 2009.

Danine said: “A fully-functioning hospital is such a big thing, and Hemel’s population is growing which also puts extra strain on Watford.

“We have had a lot of positive responses to the campaign, so we would like the council and MP to support us.

“Even if the goal is impossible, we want them to try as hard as they can to get facilities back into the hospital.”

Danine, who has made leaflets for schools and community centres, added: “It scares me a lot to think I couldn’t get the right treatment in my own town. It has a negative impact on the area, and people are very concerned.”

To support the cause, visit ‘Re-Open Hemel Hempstead Hospital’ on Facebook.