The Mum of a little girl who defied the odds after being born 16 weeks early, weighing just 600g, has been inspired by her miracle daughter to set up a bespoke clothing range, with 10% of the profits going to The Sick Children’s Trust.
Allison Waldock, 42 from Southend-on-Sea, has launched her handmade clothing business ‘Little Delilah’ in honour of her special girl. In October 2014, Delilah (now 33 months old) was born prematurely at Southend University Hospital at 24 weeks, but she was immediately transferred to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for emergency lifesaving treatment. At just 28 days old, she then underwent major heart surgery at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital and became life-threateningly ill.
For two months, Allison and her husband Jonathan travelled every day to be with their daughter before she was finally allowed to return to the family’s local hospital. Sadly, Delilah had multiple cardiac arrests that night which left her fighting for her life. She was rushed to The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge where she received further lifesaving treatment and remained for three months. During this treatment, Allison and Jonathan were supported in Chestnut House – free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation run by The Sick Children’s Trust, just minutes from their daughter’s bedside.
Once Delilah became stronger she was moved to Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Alison and Jonathan were again supported by The Sick Children’s Trust in its Acorn House. Over the next two months, as the couple prepared to take their daughter home for the first time, Delilah also spent time in Acorn House to help the family adjust to caring for her needs. Mum Allison says:
“Delilah has defied all the odds that were set against her and we are so proud of how far she has come. She is now fully weaned, talking and your typical toddler, but does have ongoing health issues.
“Our daughter has had lots of ups and downs but throughout those times we were always supported by The Sick Children’s Trust in its two ‘Homes from Home’ in Cambridge. Before Delilah was transferred to The Rosie Hospital, for two months I was travelling seven days a week to be with her as there wasn’t any accommodation readily available. The difference having a warm, cosy place to go when you’ve had a long hard day on the ward is incredible. Not only are you able to spend every moment with your seriously ill child, but you also become stronger emotionally and physically as you have a ‘Home from Home’ where you can rest your head, make homemade food – all while being just a few minutes away from your child’s bedside.
“A few months ago I decided that I would turn my much loved activity of sewing into something in honour of Delilah, where we could give back to The Sick Children’s Trust. And while I hope to build the brand, I also hope to raise awareness of The Sick Children’s Trust as without the support of its ‘Homes from Home’, parents would struggle both financially and emotionally. Families with seriously ill children in hospital have enough to worry about. With a charity providing free accommodation it takes one big concern off their shoulders.”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country supporting families with seriously ill children in hospital. Although the accommodation is free of charge to families, it costs the charity £30 to support a family for one night with a ‘Home from Home’. Acorn and Chestnut House Manager, Abi Abdel-aal, says:
“We’re absolutely delighted to hear about Alison’s business venture and how she is generously donating 10% profits to The Sick Children’s Trust. Delilah is an absolute inspiration to everyone at the charity – she has gone above and beyond doctors’ expectations and is a gorgeous little girl. We wish Allison the very best with Little Delilah.co.uk.”
For more information on Little Delilah clothing range, please visit: http://www.littledelilah.co.uk/