A Sheffield couple has relived the anguish - and subsequent relief - after their baby was born with his bowel protruding on the outside of his body.
Kim Parkin and Arren Seedhouse spent every day at the Children’s Hospital bedside of baby Rokie, who needed emergency surgery when treatment for a condition called Gastroshcisis did not work as hoped.
They got through the ordeal thanks to the skills of the medical staff - and Treetop House, the hospital accommodation they were able to use for six weeks.
The free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation is provided by The Sick Children’s Trust, which has launched a £980,000 Branching Out Appeal to provide another property, off Northumberland Road, for use by families of patients.
The appeal is supported by the Sheffield Telegraph. Patron is actor Dominic West.
Kim discovered eight weeks into pregnancy that she had the condition, and that doctors would have to wait until he was born to treat it by sliding the intestine into a silo bag and then gently squeezing the intestine into the abdomen.
The treatment seemed to be going well - until Rokie took a turn for the worse and doctors decided to operate.
“He was still so tiny, we couldn’t believe what our little boy was having to go through so early on in his life,” said Kim. “We were terrified for him but we knew he was getting the best possible care he could and that he had to have this operation.”
Smaller operations were to follow, but now the baby is home in Parson Cross with the couple’s two other children, Cayc, three and Coby, two.
“We still take him for check-ups every three months, but he is doing really well and we are so pleased.”
The whole family was able to stay together at the hospital.
“There was no way that we were going to leave Rokie alone in hospital, especially when he was undergoing treatment that could alter his condition at any moment, which is why we were so relieved when the nurses on Rokie’s ward told us about Treetop House,” said Kim.
“We wanted to be by his side every step of the way and the ‘Home from Home’ run by The Sick Children’s Trust charity enabled us to do just that.”
The trust’s regional fundraiser Samantha Silverwood can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, Treetop House on 2717176.