The “Budzik" Clinic is a hospital for children who fell into a coma after a serious brain injury; it operates in collaboration with the Children’s Memorial Health Institute. The clinic was established at the initiative of the “Akogo" Foundation in July 2013. Over seven months of its existence, seven children treated in the clinic woke up from a coma.
The clinic was the initiative of the “Akogo" Foundation established in 2002 by the actress Ewa Błaszczyk-Janczarska and Rev. Wojtek Drozdowicz (author of the “Ziarno" show broadcast by TVP).
History of “Budzik"
In 2000 Ewa Błaszczyk’s daughter Ola, who was six at the time, choked on a pill and fell into a coma, from which she has not recovered yet.
The actress often says that the clinic would not have been established had it not been for the accident, although Ola does not qualify for treatment at “Budzik". At the official opening of the clinic she stressed that her daughter was the drive that motivated her to be active.
Construction work started in 2008, and the clinic was officially opened on 7 December 2012, but the first patients were admitted to “Budzik" on 16 July 2013.
The construction costs, exceeding PLN 20 million, were covered by the “Akogo?" Foundation with contributions from individual donors, companies, foundations and EU funds.
How does “Budzik" help?
There are 15 beds in the clinic, with comprehensive infrastructure necessary for hospitalisation and rehabilitation of children who have suffered serious brain injuries.
The building consists of two storeys and has glass walls along its entire facade, so that as much light as possible could get to the interior, which is of importance in the therapy.
The founders of the clinic declare that they intend to create systemic, model solutions, both with respect to medical procedures and rehabilitation as well as legal and organisational issues.
The “Akogo?" Foundation also developed a programme of psychological support for parents, carers and also therapists and doctors affected by prolonging stress and burnout. It helps parents gain information on neurological conditions.
Who can be treated at “Budzik"?
Children aged from 2 to 18, staying in a coma no longer than 12 months from the injury or no longer than 6 months if the coma has not been caused by a trauma can be admitted to the clinic.
Children can be treated at “Budzik" for 12 months, with a possibility to extend the therapy for the subsequent three months.
Patients must have stable cardiovascular and respiratory function, not requiring maintenance of vital functions in ICU conditions, and must qualify for neurological rehabilitation.
The final decision as to whether to admit a patient is taken by the Medical Qualification Team for the Programme for Waking Children from a Coma.
Patients are treated in the clinic free of charge, which is possible owing to the financing from the National Health Fund (NFZ); the patients’ parents also stay at “Budzik" with their children free of charge, 24/7, and are involved in the rehabilitation process.
How many children fall into a coma?
According to the data collected by the “Akogo?" Foundation, as many as 100 thousand children a year fall into a coma in Poland. The most frequent causes are traffic accidents and random events. As a rule, comas last from a couple of minutes to several days. A few hundred children stay in a coma for many years.
Doctors emphasise that the first few days and months are crucial in the attempts to recover children from a coma – intensive rehabilitation is necessary, it is important to maintain the physiological functions, and other treatment methods include massages, gymnastics and verticalisation. The experts claim that the chances for recovery are the highest during the first 18 months after the accident.
In ordinary hospitals, comatose children usually stay for a few months and then return home or are transported to other medical centres.