Heidi is an honorary hospital scientist

Heidi Ashmore-Fish retrieves samples in the hospital laboratory. She is pictured holding a tube of samples, watched by a male scientist

Published on 30 November 2021

A schoolgirl became an honorary biomedical scientist after visiting the laboratory at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Nine-year-old Heidi Ashmore-Fish, from Faversham, has a rare form of anaemia and relies on blood transfusions every month to keep her well.

She visited the lab on Monday as part of the Harvey’s Gang initiative, which brings young people into hospitals to help them understand the role of the laboratory and healthcare scientists in their care.

Heidi was able to see what happens to her blood samples and meet the team helping to look after her behind the scenes.

Blood transfusion practitioner and phlebotomy lead Liz Brown said: “We showed Heidi around the blood sciences departments of pathology, where she was able to learn more about the laboratory and help the team empty the sample pods from the wards and load the centrifuge.

“Heidi saw how the blood track took her samples for testing on the biochemistry analysers and then saw how the haematology analysers worked before seeing the blood film maker in action. Heidi then looked at blood films under a microscope and learned how her blood looked before and after a blood transfusion.

“We then visited the transfusion department where we met the team who prepare the units of blood that are given to Heidi each month.

“After such a challenging time in the hospital Heidi was a true breath of fresh air – a real delight and boost to the team here.”

At the end of her visit, Heidi received a special certificate and goodie bag from Harvey’s Gang. For more information on the charity, visit http://harveysgang.com/ or to donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/harveys-gang