The parents of a little girl who underwent two major surgeries in her first few weeks of life are sharing their story to help raise awareness of The Sick Children’s Trust’s emergency fundraising appeal.
During these unprecedented and uncertain times, the charity which receives no government funding needs the public’s support now more than ever. It costs £2.2 million to run The Sick Children’s Trust’s ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country and the charity relies entirely on voluntary donations to meet this cost. With events being cancelled and the charity’s valued supporters not being able to fundraise in their usual way, The Sick Children’s Trust needs your support now more than ever.
Millie Quickenden and Adam Richardson, from Bromley, know all too well just how vital The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’ are. The couple were given a place to stay at the charity’s Stevenson House when their newborn daughter, Georgia, needed two operations at The Royal London Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Georgia was born at 33 weeks with a condition which meant she couldn’t swallow (Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula and Oesophageal Atresia) and needed urgent surgery. Three weeks later she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – fluid on the brain – and needed a stent fitting in her brain. During her time in hospital, Millie and Adam were never separated from their daughter because of The Sick Children’s Trust’s help. Millie said:
“At just a day old, Georgia had surgery to detach her oesophagus from her windpipe and then stretch it to attach it to her stomach, closing the 1cm gap. For three weeks, Georgia remained in NICU and for all that time we were housed by The Sick Children’s Trust which made the days and nights so much easier. I could not have comprehended dealing with a long commute home each day when I had no sleep whilst also trying to express milk every 2-3 hours. It just wouldn’t have been feasible.
“Without the opportunity to stay at Stevenson House I believe our journey would have been even more challenging. It costs the charity £30 to support a family for one night, that £30 can make the biggest difference. £30 sounds like a lot but you can go out for dinner once a month and it will cost more than that. In times like these, I would encourage others to think about spending that money elsewhere and giving the gift of a night’s accommodation. Sometimes people think they have to give big amounts to charity, but the little bits add up. Even the loose change in your pocket
“Georgia is eight months old now and is babbling away, rolling over and is such a smiley baby. Despite doing really well, she is susceptible to any respiratory illness, in her short life she has had already multiple hospital admissions with bronchiolitis, so right now we are taking even more extra precautions. This girl is a pro at self-isolation and continues to be a strong-willed little character and we know she had a lot of fight in her for whatever comes her way.”
The Sick Children’s Trust supports around 3,500 families every year by giving families a place to stay. It cost the charity £30 to support a family for one night. Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive at The Sick Children’s Trust, said:
“It is a worrying and uncertain time for everyone and there are many challenges we are all facing but for families with a seriously ill child in hospital there is even more worry and uncertainty.
“The Sick Children’s Trust can continue to be there for families with sick children in hospital like Georgia’s but we can’t do it alone. Without vital donations we cannot do this. With your kind donation, we can be there so that families can be together. We want to give them a safe place to stay close to their child. £30 is what it takes but any amount you can give will greatly help.”
To donate to The Sick Children’s Trust, visit sickchildrenstrust.org/donate
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Sick Children's Trust, on Thursday 30 April, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/