A local dad whose son was born critically ill and required specialist treatment at a hospital miles away from home has raised £3,241.48, with support from his friends and family, for The Sick Children’s Trust.
Parents Ross and Kat Adams, from Lichfield, have been passionately spreading the word about The Sick Children’s Trust and raising money for the charity following the support they received when their son, Rorie, was admitted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital over 80 miles away from home.
When Rorie was born, within 14 hours he was admitted to Burton Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. He spent two weeks there battling hydrocephalus – a build-up of fluid on his brain which was causing a significant and life threatening amount of pressure. He was then transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he underwent brain surgery to insert a reservoir so that doctors could drain the fluid daily. For seven weeks the couple were supported at The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Magnolia House, just a few minutes’ walk from their baby’s hospital bedside. As thanks for supporting them with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, Ross and his friends recently ran the Lichfield Half Marathon, raising £3,241.48 for the charity. Mum Kat says:
“It’s awful having your newborn baby in hospital. And even more so when they are unexpectedly transferred to a different one miles away from home.
“We arrived at Sheffield Children’s Hospital at 2am, and stayed on the ward that night, but very quickly it became apparent we weren’t going to be in Sheffield for a short stay, and there was no way I was going to leave Rorie.
“Lots of family members offered to support us financially in hotels, which was amazing and so generous of them. But before we had to pursue that option, we were told about a place called Magnolia House, free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation run by The Sick Children’s Trust. Simply put, the nearest hotel wouldn’t have been close enough and at Magnolia House, you don’t even have to leave the front door to be with your child. There’s a corridor leading from the house to the wards, which means you are there, within minutes, by your child’s bedside.
“Amongst the stress of daily procedures, we were constantly being prepared for the worst. We were told Rorie would never suck a bottle – which he soon got the hang of, and we knew we were to expect other developmental delays or disabilities in the future. But no matter what they’ve said Rorie will always be our perfect.
“Magnolia House was really important to us, because it meant we could be right beside our son as a family when we all needed each other the most. We were able leave the ward when it all got a bit too much to gather our thoughts and be the strong parents Rorie needed us to be when we were with him. We could retreat to Magnolia House at night, where we were safe in the knowledge that if anything happened, the nurses would call and we could be with our son within a few minutes.”
Magnolia House is one of two ‘Homes from Home’ located in Sheffield supporting families with seriously ill children undergoing treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Although the accommodation is provided free of charge to families, it cost the charity £30 to support a family for one night. The money Ross and friends have raised is enough to support 108 families with one night’s free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation. Dad Ross, who completed the Lichfield Half in 2hrs 17 seconds, says:
“I found the run daunting to begin with due to the fact that it was the first competitive race I have ever done. I have ran around on a football pitch for 90 minutes but I knew this was going to be much more challenging!
“My toughest moment during the half marathon was during miles 11 and 12 because a lot of it was uphill and the temperature was around 25 degrees. But the unbelievable generosity of people and their donations, along with the support from Kat, Rorie and other family members meeting me a different locations kept me going. At no point did I feel I wanted to stop running. My goal was to complete it in under 2 hours 10 minutes and the time I did complete it in was 2 hours and 17 seconds! I couldn't have been more thrilled with the outcome, so much so, that we are planning on further runs to make this an annual fundraising event!”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, supporting around 4,000 families every year. Emily Corney, Regional Fundraising Officer, says:
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to Ross, Kat and all their friends and family for thinking of us and raising such a huge amount.
“We’re always so delighted to hear from families who we’ve supported that decide to go on and fundraise for us. As a charity that relies entirely on voluntary donations, it really makes a huge difference in enabling The Sick Children’s Trust to be there for hundreds of families during the most difficult times.”
For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit http://www.sickchildrenstrust.org/