Parviz Swims The Channel Solo    

Dr Parviz Habibi, COSMIC Chairman & Founder is set to swim the English Channel to raise funds for the rebuild of the PICU he founded almost 25 years ago. 

Parviz will set off for France on Friday — two months before he retires from his clinical duties at St Mary’s Hospital

He hopes to raise £20,000 towards the £2 million that his Cosmic (Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care) charity and the Imperial College Healthcare Charity are donating towards the transformation of the unit to enable it to treat an extra 200 critically ill patients each year. Today the charities revealed they were halfway towards the target of their More Smiles Appeal. 

Dr Habibi has been training for two years and has done four previous Channel swims as part of a relay team but this will be his first solo Channel challenge. Swimming overnight in temperatures of 15-16C without a wetsuit to comply with Channel Swimming Association regulations, he expects to lose six to eight kilograms of body fat. 

The unit Dr Habibi set up in 1992 at St Mary’s Hospital, with one bed and one nurse, has helped transformed the care of children who are unexpectedly taken seriously ill and will be expanded from eight to 15 beds to prevent it having to turn away about 230 cases a year. Treating children at risk of death from drowning, pneumonia, meningitis and serious complications from epilepsy, asthma and diabetes, preparatory work on the unit is due to start later this year. 

Click here to read the Evening Standard article.

To donate - please follow this link to the justgiving page.     


The More Smiles Appeal gets Royal seal of approval

The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) is lending her support to the More Smiles Appeal as she was so impressed by the care she received at St Mary's Hospital when she gave birth to her daughter Charlotte in May and Son George two years earlier.

The Duchess said: "The thought of your child in an intensive care unit is harrowing for any parent and as someone who was so brilliantly cared for by St Mary's, I am delighted to support the Children's Intensive Care Appeal, and commend the important work of all those involved in the project".


The More Smiles Appeal aims to raise £2million for the redevelopment of the children's intensive care unit at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, that currently cares for 400 of the most critically ill children in London and the South East every year.

When St Mary's opened its first unit specifically designed to look after critically ill children in the North West London area in 1992, it only had one single bed. In the following years it quickly developed and expanded, becoming the Children's Intensive Care Unit, a centre of excellence with more than five paediatric consultants and over 50 specialist nurses in its staff.

The need for change

The last major development of the Children's Intensive Care Unit took place in 1996. Since then, there has been dramatic improvements in technology, treatments and ward design that mean the unit now limits our ability to provide the best possible care to our youngest and most at risk patients.

Of the 400 children treated last year, 233 had to be transferred to other units, some outside of London. Telling a parent that there is not a bed for their sick child is a situation that sadly exists, but with this exciting expansion something the hospital aims to never happen again.

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GIVE a child a COSMIC Life

Every year the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St Mary's Hospital in London treats hundreds of children who are seriously ill. COSMIC relies totally on your donations to provide life-saving equipment and to fund vital research to ensure that the children in our care get the best treatment possible. Find out more

Donate by clicking here or text COSM10 and the amount you wish to donate afterwards e.g. COSM10 £10 to 70070


What is COSMIC? from COSMIC Charity on Vimeo.

For more cute video clips and to find out more about the #IAMCOSMIC campaign click here 

These are just a few examples of what the money donated to COSMIC can go towards to help us help sick children, as well as their families and our ward staff.

  • 60p - Toothbrushes and toothpaste for parents staying in our hotels
  • £8 - One bereavement support book for siblings
  • £10 - One welcome pack and PICU parent information booklets
  • £10 - A gift for patients/siblings/parents who may have a birthday whilst in hospital
  • £15 - One set of baby hand imprints and a presentation box
  • £30 - Modelling dough for foot and hand imprints used as part of our bereavement work
  • £45 - One child bereavement counselling session
  • £70 - £100 – 1 night in a hotel nearby for parents
  • £100 - Travel reimbursement between home and hospital for 1 week
  • £500 - Contribute towards a patient funeral costs for a family experiencing financial hardship
  • £800 - Quarterly funding for parent bereavement counsellor
  • £1,500 - A syringe pump to administer drugs at precise intervals in exact quantities
  • £3,000 -  A “Baby pod” which is used to safely and securely transport sick children
  • £5,500 - Ventilator upgrades, making them state of the art
  • £35,000 - A high frequency Oscillating ventilator
  • £150,000 - An intensive care bed and basic machines