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Family put on glitzy ball in support of charities who saved son’s life

News   •   Sep 02, 2019 16:03 BST

Lee Alexander, Roy Delaney, Henry and Olivia

A Suffolk family have come together with friends to organise a black-tie event to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, all of which supported them when their son suffered a freak accident.

Last September, mum Lee Alexander was put into a situation that no parent could plan for when her two year old son, Henry, was rushed to hospital with a bleed on the brain. Henry was just under two years old when he fell off the sofa onto his head which caused a bleed as well as uncontrollable seizures. Henry was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he underwent lifesaving treatment for two months.

During this time his parents were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust at its free ‘Home from Home’ Acorn House, just a stone’s throw away from their son’s hospital bedside. To thank The Sick Children’s Trust, Henry’s parents Lee and Roy Delaney, along with their close friend Jules Tyler and Lee’s sisters Frederica Hawes and Georgina Alexander, have organised Henry’s Ball. The event will take place on Friday 28 September 2019 at the All Manor of Events at Henley in Ipswich. Lee, 34, an Office Manager for East Coast Property UK Ltd said:

“I didn’t know what to do when Henry’s accident happened. I ran out into the street shouting for people to help. Our neighbours were doing what they could before the air ambulance arrived to take us to the hospital where Henry underwent surgery to relieve the bleed on his brain.

“Henry was in a coma for a week and when he came out of it, he was like a baby again. He couldn’t see and we didn’t know if he could hear. We had to teach him how to do everything while he was recovering, it was a really difficult time.

“While all of this was going on we weren’t thinking about where we were going to stay, I would have just slept in a hospital chair if I had to. All we were focusing on was Henry’s surgery and him getting better, it wasn’t until two in the morning that we felt comfortable enough to leave his side. That’s when we were guided to this lovely house ran by The Sick Children’s Trust, which became our home for the next two months. Not only was Acorn House close to the hospital and a place we could get some rest, it allowed us to stay together as a family because we could have our daughter, Olivia, stay there with us. This meant that after a long day on the ward, we could have dinner with Olivia and just sit on the sofa and watch TV which helped us reenergise for the next day, “I am completely indebted to the charities that helped us and without them there is no way we would have coped or Henry would have survived his accident. Because they are ran completely on donations, this event will allow us to raise money to help them to continue their vital work”.

The Sick Children’s Trust receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of their supporters to keep families close to their child’s hospital bedside, Jules, 37, works in the finance department at Nelson Potter Ltd, who are sponsoring the event, added:

“This family’s life got turned upside down in a blink of an eye and The Sick Children’s Trust gave them a place to stay so that they were able to be on call for Henry and get to his side at a moment’s notice. Without this charity, parents would have so many unnecessary pressures to deal with when they are already going through the most stressful time, so we want to help The Sick Children’s Trust to support more families in the future.”

Money raised from Henry’s Ball will be split between The Sick Children’s Trust, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Acorn House Manager Abigail Abdel-aal said:

“This is an amazing event that Henry’s family and friends have organised to support The Sick Children’s Trust and the other charities. It costs us £30 a night to support a family with a room in one of our ten ‘Homes from Home’ and donations like this will ensure we can support a lot more families’.

More information about Henry’s Ball can be found on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/henrysball2019/?ref=page_internal.

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