The Sick Children’s Trust Supports Mother Fighting for Her Child

City Connect  reports on a story about a family from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk whose two year old daughter, Rhiannon, was diagnosed with croup and rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. The charity, The Sick Children’s Trust, supported them when they were in need of accommodation to stay close by her bedside.

My name is Caroline Clarke and I stayed at The Sick Children’s Trust Acorn House for nine nights in March 2010 when my daughter Rhiannon, aged two years, suddenly became very poorly with croup, which led to further complications.

Rhiannon needed specialist care and was therefore referred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, which is over an hour away from our home in Suffolk. It was such a relief to be given the security of my own private bedroom at Acorn House, the charity’s ‘Home from Home’ on the hospital grounds, just five minutes away from the ward. It enabled me to get a good night’s sleep, knowing that I could be back with Rhiannon within moments should I be needed for any reason.

The house gave me a private space to gather my thoughts, have a bath and take good care of myself so that I could find all the physical and mental energy required to get through each day and give Rhiannon the support she needed. Life at that time was an emotional rollercoaster and Acorn House certainly helped give me some stability during an otherwise crazy time. The house manager, Joy, was extremely helpful and very willing to sort anything out, and was always available for a chat. There was a calm, relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the house, which was just what I needed.

At the weekend, my husband was able to bring our other son Cameron, who’s five, to stay with us at the house. It was great to be all together like a normal family again, something so simple that we all take for granted until things are turned upside down by events like this. Having Acorn House there meant that Cameron could see his sister, but also be with his mum, so I could offer him the support he needed too. Acorn House had everything he needed – he was able to enjoy his time watching DVDs, using the play rooms or playing basketball outside, just like he does at home.

The experience we went through as a family affected us all very deeply. We are all very grateful to Acorn House and The Sick Children’s Trust for allowing us to remain together as a family during this difficult time, so we could give both our children all the love and support they needed.

The charity is currently building a new eight bedroomed ‘Home from Home’ at The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge so it’s great to know now that soon it will be able to provide support to even more families like mine when they need it most.”

Caroline, Rhiannon’s mum

Picture reference:  Clarke family.jpg

Picture caption: (left to right) Rhiannon, Cameron and Caroline Clarke

Image reproduced from: www.hiren.info

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