WHEN their son Declan started to suffer seizures in the first months of his life, Thomas and Stevie Wright ended up at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, even though they live in Skegness.
In Sheffield, he had nearly 100 seizures in a week.
With the right medicine, Declan improved, but he has had to be readmitted to the hospital three times over the last three years, each time for more than four weeks at a time.
For his parents, accommodation at Treetop House, The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ at the Children’s Hospital, has proved invaluable.
Thomas said: “For myself and Stevie it is reassuring for us to know that the charity has this accommodation where we can both stay for free for as long as we like. “This is fantastic for us as we live so far away and without this support we’d have no where to stay close by to our little boy. It’s been essential in allowing us to support not only Declan, but each other through his illness.”
The Wrights have shown their thanks by raising £2,433 for the trust’s Branching Out Appeal for an second house, at the back of the hospital. More than 100 people joined them at a garden party, and a local business donated prizes.
Declan, now two, suffered a seizure at just nine weeks old, and was taken initially to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Anti-epileptic medication controlled the seizures for some time, but when they became more frequent, he was transferred to Sheffield. He still suffers from development delay and his seizures are still happening.
Ann Wyatt, house manager at The Sick Children’s Trust, said: “Stevie and Thomas were lucky in that we had room for them to stay with us but we often have to turn families away as the houses runs close to full occupancy.
“Our new House will hopefully help ease this problem and allow us to support 300 more families a year, but we still need all the support we can get to raise the money to build it.”
The Sick Children’s Trust was founded 30 years ago by paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas, who believed that having parents on hand during hospital treatment benefited a child’s recovery.
There are now seven ‘Homes from Home’ at hospitals around the country where families can stay free of charge, for as long as they need while their child is undergoing treatment.