A first-time grandad is hoping to raise £2,720 for a charity that supported his son and daughter-in-law when their tiny baby was seriously ill in Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
Denham Hughes, 51 from Langtoft, is fundraising for The Sick Children’s Trust after it supported his family when doctors discovered his granddaughter had two holes in her heart. Layla, born last September weighing a tiny 4lbs 12oz, was diagnosed at just two weeks old and required specialist surgery in December 2015.
Following surgery, Layla made a miraculous recovery within 36 hours – six days earlier than expected. However, despite this great news Layla’s parents Tom and Chelsey had the added stress of finding accommodation so that they could continue to be with Layla throughout the rest of her treatment. Fortunately, on Christmas Day, the couple were given a room at The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Rainbow House. Denham, who has already raised £1,000 through a bake sale at work, says:
“It was mid-morning on Christmas Day when we got the news that Layla had exceeded expectations and was out of intensive care, which was brilliant! The only thing was that – due to the high intake of sick children at GOSH, once a child is out of intensive care, the hospital can only accommodate one parent with a bed on the ward. Tom therefore found himself stranded on Christmas Day in an unfamiliar city far from home. There were no trains, buses or anything to allow him to travel back home to Northborough– and to be honest, he just wanted to stay with his baby. He was very lucky that The Sick Children’s Trust stepped in and gave him a place to stay so that he could be with Layla and Chelsey
“Rainbow House meant they could be by Layla’s side throughout it all. And the house certainly achieved what it sets out to do – to aid the recovery of a seriously ill child. Layla’s recovery was absolutely astonishing and we think that was partly down to the fact her Mum and Dad were so close by and could be there every day. Layla made it home just five days after her operation, and has been doing incredibly well. She doesn’t have a feeding tube anymore and we can take her out in the pram and show her off to the world without worrying she could get ill.
“It’s been a stressful situation – as a grandad and a dad I always want to be able to fix things and this was something that I couldn’t. But Rainbow House helped us all with managing that stress and worry. The charity helped so much in my son’s biggest time of need. I am determined to hit my fundraising target because of that – I’ll just keep going until I do.”
In May, Denham will host a charity day at Deepings RUFC which will consist of a club lunch, a veteran’s memorial rugby game, a president’s game, a sponsored touch rugby game, an auction of signed sports memorabilia and curry night alongside live music. Rainbow House Manager Sandra Williams says:
“Denham is a very determined grandad and has set his mind to reaching his fundraising target. It costs the charity around £28 per night to support a family, so by raising an incredible £2,720 that will support a family for 30 days in Rainbow House. This will have a huge impact on helping families who need to stay together.”
If you would like to support Denham in his fundraising please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/denhamhughes/