The Sick Children’s Trust is a charity we will forever be thankful to. The charity, which runs free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, kept our family together when it felt like our world was crashing down around us.
Taking home my newborn son, Nathan, for the first time is a moment I will never forget – it was perfect and exciting. But just before he turned a week old, he was rushed to Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.
Nathan was due to have his heal prick test, a routine assessment in newborns, but when the health visitor arrived at our home in Wallsend she noticed that Nathan was stiff and struggling to breathe. It all happened so suddenly and before I knew it an ambulance was taking us to the RVI. Nathan’s condition started to get worse as the doctors carried out numerous tests. He was finding it harder and harder to breathe on his own so he was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and put into an induced coma.
Nathan’s Dad, Kyle, and I never saw this coming. Nathan had been perfectly healthy but out of the blue turned into a seriously ill baby who was fighting for his life. We were prepared for the worst outcome. Nathan may not survive.
There were so many thoughts going through my head. I didn’t once think that I wouldn’t be able to stay with my baby, which I couldn’t do as he was on PICU where there are no beds for parents. Thankfully, the nurses told us about Crawford House, run by The Sick Children’s Trust. Crawford House is located within the hospital grounds and was just a few minutes’ walk from the hospital. The House Manager walked over to meet us and took us to Crawford House to show us around, we really didn’t know what to expect but were so relieved that it really was only just a few moments from Nathan’s bed.
As we walked through the house, we just felt so much better knowing we had this stability. Crawford House was spacious, homely and welcoming. We were shown to our private room which smelt of fresh linen and beautifully decorated. We knew from then that we would be able to sleep peacefully in a comfy bed and felt reassured knowing that if Nathan needed us when we weren’t by his side, the ward had a direct telephone line to the room which we could be reached on.
Over the following three weeks, Nathan proved the doctors wrong. He did come round from his coma, and he did so fighting. I really don’t know what we would’ve done without Crawford House. It was important to us as it meant we could be close to Nathan while he was struggling and be there to give him a kiss everything morning and night. It was amazing to be that close and not worry. We could see him whenever we wanted.
We still don’t know what actually made Nathan so poorly. We think it could’ve been sepsis, strep B or meningitis. What we do know is that without the support of The Sick Children’s Trust we wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time with our son while he was working so hard for survival.
I’m pleased to say that ten month old Nathan is doing amazingly now. He still has regular check-ups at the hospital but is a very happy little boy.
Lana Corbett, Nathan’s Mum