Jude’s Christmas Wish
My six-year-old son, Jude, is one of the most medically challenging children in the UK.
Jude was born with a very rare condition called Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction which has caused Severe Intestinal Failure. This means that he doesn’t have a functioning, internal digestive system. He is one of only a tiny number of children in the country with this condition.
Effectively, Jude can’t eat and survives by being fed liquid nutrients through tubes going directly into his heart, from a heavy backpack that he wears permanently. He’s in regular pain and takes a huge amount of drugs. His life is incredibly fragile.
Jude is on the transplant waiting list for a new stomach, small and large intestine, liver and pancreas. Even if he gets the transplants, his survival isn’t guaranteed.
You might expect to hear we keep Jude at home, wrapped in cotton wool, in a sterile oxygen tent. But, no. Jude wants to play and have fun, just like any other six year old. And he can, thanks to the incredible support that we have from Chestnut Tree House.
Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for the whole of East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire and it’s the only place that Jude can go without me and be safe.
Thanks to Chestnut, Jude has a quality of life that I simply didn’t believe could be possible. He’s still very unwell a lot of the time – he’s spent more than half of his life in hospital. But when he’s well enough, Chestnut is absolutely his favourite place to go.
He adores it there. They have wonderful gardens full of play equipment, a multi-sensory room full of lights, a music room – and even their own pool. The staff give him their undivided attention and they play games with him – but they’re also nursing him at the same time. Only Chestnut can do that – they are Jude’s lifeline.
Christmas is coming up and Jude and I sat down together to write his Christmas. The last thing he wrote was ‘Help Chestnut’.
He knows that he’s different – but he also knows he’s not the only one. Chestnut care for over 300 life-limited children and they all need expert care.
It will cost £116,450 to keep Chestnut open over the Christmas holidays this year. Just one hour’s care for one child like Jude costs Chestnut Tree House £35.70.
It’s my wish – and most importantly Jude’s Christmas Wish – that we help them to raise the money they need to care for every single one of these children this Christmas.
Please, could you make a donation today to help another child like Jude, another family like mine, to get the care they need?
Thank you. Jude and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Kellie (Jude’s Mum)