The family of a two year old girl who was given just a 20% chance of survival when she contracted bacterial meningitis have come together to compete in a 10km race to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
Dad Rickie Hicks, from Borehamwood, along with siblings Tony and Charlotte, cousin Sarah and colleague Steve Gardner are lacing their trainers for the Great Newham Run, which takes place on Sunday 2 July, to thank The Sick Children’s Trust for supporting Rickie and his wife Carly with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation when their daughter Lily was fighting for her life.
Lily was a happy and healthy six month old baby on a family day out with her parents and brother, James, when she became ill last year. Her worried parents rushed her to Watford General A&E where she was diagnosed with suspected chickenpox and sent home. However, a few hours later it was clear to her parents that something was seriously wrong with Lily. An ambulance was called and she was rushed to Barnet Hospital A&E where doctors began to treat her for meningococcal septicaemia. But her condition soon deteriorated and Lily was rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for lifesaving treatment.
Dad, Rickie, who works for the family business H&H Van Hire Ltd, says: “No matter how strong you think you are or what you have had to deal with in life, nobody can prepare you for the news that your baby girl might die right there on that table.
“Our world stood still. Each minute felt like an hour but as each minute passed we held on to the thought that our baby was still alive, while trying to ignore the fact that at any second we could be told the worst news ever possibly imaginable.
“When Lily was transferred to GOSH she spent five days in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) heavily sedated and attached to a machine which did her breathing for her. These were the longest five days of our lives and we lost all sense of reality. It was so traumatic; we didn’t expect this to ever happen.
“As we waited for Lily to get stronger we were taken to a place called Guilford Street House. Guilford Street House is a ‘Home from Home’ run by The Sick Children’s Trust which supports families with seriously ill children in GOSH. Lily was very much in a critical condition, it really was touch and go for those first five days and even being a few minutes’ walk away from the ward made me feel anxious in case something changed.
“However, these feelings would have been intensified if we hadn’t had Guilford Street House and for that we are grateful. We are so grateful that we didn’t have to make a 50 minute journey to be with our daughter when she needed us.”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten free ‘Homes from Home’ across the country supporting around 4,000 families with seriously ill children in hospital every year. Guilford Street House Manager, Tina Thake, says:
“It was really important for both Rickie and Carly to be supported by us whilst little Lily was fighting for her life. Not only do we provide parents and families with a ‘Homes from Home’, but we also offer emotional support so that help is always at hand.
“Rickie and Carly stayed with us for ten days and it was such a relief when Lily turned a corner and became stronger. Those initial few days were so traumatic for her parents and I’m so pleased we were able to support them as best we could.
“We want to wish Rickie and his family the best of luck in the race. We rely on the generous donations of our supporters so that we can be here for families with seriously ill children in hospital so would like to say a huge thank you.”
To read more about the team’s fundraising efforts please visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/runforlily