Loving mum joins stars at charity Christmas Carol Service
What: The Sick Children’s Trust’s Christmas Carol Service
Date: Thursday 4th December
Time: 6.30pm (doors open at 6pm)
Location: St Marylebone Parish Church
Tickets: Adults £15, Children £7.50 and Family Tickets £40
Claire O’Brien from Pinner, North West London, will be sharing her experiences of having a seriously ill child at a star-studded charity Christmas Carol Service on 4 December.
Claire will be speaking at The Sick Children’s Trust’s annual Christmas Carol Service alongside celebrity readers including; Zoe Wanamaker, Ben Aldridge, Sarah Alexander, Sam Bailey and Christine Hamilton. The evening will also see solos from Britain’s Got Talent star Charlotte Jaconelli.
Claire became involved with the charity last Christmas when her daughter Eva was born ten weeks prematurely on 22 December, weighing a tiny 525 grams. Eva was rushed to The Royal London Hospital in East London and immediately rushed to surgery. She was admitted onto the neo-natal intensive care unit at the hospital where she spent the next seven and a half weeks receiving specialist care.
During this time, Claire and her husband Eddie were able to stay close by to Eva in Stevenson House, a ‘Home from Home’ provided by The Sick Children’s Trust. Without the house, Claire and Eddie would have had to travel across London from their home in Pinner to be with Eva, which is over an hour’s drive away.
After several ups and downs, Eva was finally discharged from her local Northwick Park Hospital on 28 April, after 18 weeks spent in various hospitals. Thankfully, she has recovered well and Claire and Eddie are now looking forward to Eva’s first Christmas at home.
Claire, 37 said “I am so touched to be asked to take part in The Sick Children’s Trust’s Christmas Carol Service. Without Stevenson House, Eddie and I would have been lost while Eva was in hospital. We didn’t want to leave her side and having the house meant that we didn’t have to worry about commuting home or paying for accommodation close by; it was a life-saver.
“We are used to spending Christmas with our family and being away from them last year was so hard, but Stevenson House enabled them to visit which was really comforting. I am so pleased to be able to share Eva’s story at the charity’s carol service, it will be a really special evening and it will be very moving remembering how little Eva’s journey started and how far she has come.”
Rosie Lightfoot, Special Events Manager at The Sick Children’s Trust said “We are thrilled that Claire, Eddie, Eva and their family will be joining us for our annual Christmas Carol Service. We support up to 146 families every night, every day of the year. It is so important to remember when everyone is caught up with the busyness of Christmas, that there are many families who are going through the most stressful and difficult of times, miles from their home.
“The carol service is set in the heart of London with celebrity readings and music followed by a fine wine and mince pie reception. It is set to be a lovely evening - the perfect way to start the festive season.”
The Sick Children’s Trust provides free, high-quality ‘Home from Home’ accommodation as well as practical and emotional support for families who have seriously ill children in hospital. The charity has ten houses across the UK including three in London; Rainbow House and Guilford Street House supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital and Stevenson House supporting The Royal London Hospital.
To book your tickets call 020 7283 4854 or click here.
(c) Prima Magazine
- Children, Child care
- family story
The Sick Children’s Trust was founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas. They believed that having parents on hand during hospital treatment benefited a child's recovery.
Today we have ten ‘Homes from Home’ at major hospitals around the country where families can stay free of charge.
Every year we help around 4,000 families, but there is a growing demand for our ‘Homes from Home’ as children must increasingly travel long distances to get the specialist treatment they need.
We are working to a future where every family with a seriously ill child in hospital will be able to stay together, just minutes from their child’s bed during their treatment.