Henry Lindsay, now four-years-old, will be taking on his next big challenge this week as he enters the school gates for the first time. Henry was born prematurely at 27 weeks and became seriously ill with the deadly condition necrotising enterocolitis which caused the tissue in his bowel to perforate. Henry spent five months in Neonatal Intensive Care at the Royal London Hospital where his tiny body endured four major operations. Now he is fully recovered and eager to start school. Dad Alex says:“Seeing Henry grow up over these last few years has meant the world to us. He may have put us through it, but he’s a true fighter and is absolutely fantastic. He is so happy and full of smiles – you wouldn’t believe the start he had to life.
“He’s really looking forward to starting school and so are we, though we are a little bit nervous. He was so small and so fragile when he was born – those first five months were agony. So to see him now, just about to take on school, fills us with pride.”
The family, from Essex, received support from The Sick Children’s Trust’s Stevenson House while Henry was treated and recovered. This meant that Alex and Samantha could be by Henry’s side every step of the way. Alex, who has raised thousands of pounds for the charity since, says:
“We were told that we had been given a room at a charity-run ‘Home from Home’. We weren’t quite sure what this was, but immediately we felt relief. Stevenson House saved us. There were no more trips back to Southend, at the time; we were there with Henry, by his side no matter what.
“What made the house so precious was that if we needed a break away from the hospital environment, we could. If we needed to lie down, we could. If we needed to cry, we could. Stevenson House was a real rock for us, not forgetting how good and supportive the house team were.”