An eight year old boy recently raised £1,247 to thank The Sick Children’s Trust. The charity provided his family with free accommodation when his newborn sister didn’t breathe for 27 minutes after she was born and required lifesaving treatment in a hospital miles away from home.
Big brother Archie Colman, from Diss in Norfolk, conquered the Norwich Inflatable 5k run to thank the charity for supporting his parents after Ellie was born. His stepmother, Jessica Colman, 27, was just 36 weeks pregnant when she noticed her baby had stopped kicking. Panicked, she and her husband, Steve, 33, drove to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury, where doctors checked their baby’s heart rate. Minutes later Jessica underwent a Grade 1 caesarean, a procedure performed when there is an immediate threat to a baby or mother’s life. For the next 27 minutes Ellie suffered from perinatal asphyxia and doctors battled to establish an airway. Once breathing, Ellie was immediately transferred to The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge for lifesaving treatment. She underwent 72 hours of specialist cooling therapy, also known as therapeutic hypothermia, on the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), to reduce the risk of brain damage.
As the couple waited for their daughter to get better, they were given free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation at Chestnut House run by The Sick Children’s Trust. Mum, Jessica, who was transferred from West Suffolk Hospital and admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, says:
“As Steve and Ellie left for Cambridge, I had to deal with the horrible reality that I might not see my daughter again all on my own. The doctors thought it was unlikely that Ellie would survive two days. Fortunately, later that night a bed was found for me at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge and I was also transferred across by ambulance to be close to my baby.
“Ellie defied doctors’ expectations and pulled through the cooling treatment. It was at this point that I was finally discharged so moved into Chestnut House with Steve. I don’t know how we would have coped if we hadn’t been supported by The Sick Children’s Trust. I could not have travelled for two hours each day in a car; I could barely move and was in a wheelchair.”
Whilst Ellie received lifesaving treatment in hospital, Steve’s mother, Michele, drove Archie to meet his little sister in Cambridge and stay with his parents at Chestnut House. Jessica, who has raised over £300 for the charity in addition to her stepson’s fundraising, continues:
“Archie found this time very difficult as he was only six when Ellie was born and he knew something was wrong. He saw his baby sister with so many wires and tubes coming out of her which was very scary for him. It also made being with Archie hard, as we spent the whole six weeks that Ellie was being treated by her side in hospital, which is no place for a little boy. Having a ‘Home from Home’ at Chestnut House, where there was a kitchen, dining and living room was so important as it meant Archie could see us without having to be on the hospital ward and we could even make him something to eat and watch telly together.
“We’re so proud of Archie and his fundraising. On the day his Dad, Nan and Aunties took part in the run, as we have all wanted to raise money and awareness for the charity that helped us during our time of need. I watched them along with Ellie and it was a lovely family day. Ellie is now thriving and enjoyed cheering Archie on in her Sick Children’s Trust t-shirt, which turned into more of a dress!”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country supporting around 4,000 families with seriously ill children in hospital every year. Abi Abdel-aal, Chestnut House Manager, says:
“It is traumatic for any parent when they have a seriously ill child in hospital and as a charity we try to help as many families as possible during such difficult times by keeping them together in free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation.
“The Sick Children’s Trust relies entirely on voluntary donations so it means everything to us when families we have supported go on to fundraise for the charity. It costs £30 to support a family for one night. We can’t thank Archie enough for taking on this challenge and raising so much money. He should feel very proud of himself!”
To get behind The Sick Children’s Trust and sponsor Archie visit his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jessica-colman27
For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit http://www.sickchildrenstrust.org/
For more information: Please contact Alexandra Glatman on 0207 0119 368 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
About The Sick Children’s Trust
The Sick Children’s Trust is working to a future where every family with a seriously ill child in hospital will be able to stay together, just minutes from their child’s bed during their treatment.
We believe keeping families together significantly improves the recovery of seriously ill children. We provide free, high-quality ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, as well as emotional and practical support, to families with sick children in hospital in the UK.
The Sick Children’s Trust was founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas. Today we have ten ‘Homes from Home’ at major hospitals around the country where families can stay free of charge, for as long as they need whilst their child is undergoing treatment.
We support around 4,000 families every year, and there is a growing demand for our ‘Homes from Home’ as children must increasingly travel long distances to get the specialist treatment they need. www.sickchildrenstrust.org
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Sick Children's Trust, on Tuesday 30 October, 2018. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/