Natalie Engstrom

I am shaving my long blonde hair off!

Fundraising for The Sick Children's Trust
raised of £2,000 target
by 62 supporters
We provide free ‘Homes from Home’ to keep families together


My pregnancy wasn’t unusual, all my scans went well but when I gave birth to my first daughter Tegan in 2008 we knew something wasn’t right… she was struggling to breathe. The nurses whisked her away and everything else was a blur….. 4hrs after she was born a doctor walked in and explained she had to be resuscitated 4 times. Our baby had a condition called Pierre Robin Syndrome that affects 1 in 30,000 babies and she had a long road ahead of her. I didn’t get to hold her for the first time until she was over a day old. 

What lay ahead was a huge learning curve. She couldn’t drink from a bottle and had to be tube fed, in order for us to take her home I had to learn how to insert tubes through her nose and down into her stomach to feed her, so that’s what I did. She spent the first 4 years of her life being fed through a tube but,  looking back, that was the easy bit in comparison to what lay ahead.

No one prepares you for the first time someone takes your baby away for an operation. No one prepares you for the time after that either. No one prepares you for the time they are old enough to understand and cry and beg for you not to leave them. No one prepares you for the operation where you are alone because your husband is in a war torn country in the Middle East. No one prepares you for the years of tests, treatments, medical procedures and intervention. No one prepares you for the heart break and loneliness it brings.

What was there for us though was this amazing charity. All the operations and treatments were made a little easier knowing we had somewhere to call home. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have been able to stay with Tegan. They gave us a ‘home from home’. We were made welcome, felt safe and they understood our situation, we could call or walk down to the SCBU anytime day or night.. Without them we would have to go to off the hospital grounds, we wouldn’t have been able to be close to our daughter. It would have been so much harder than it already was.

This  wonderful charity doesn’t get any funding from the government. They rely solely on donations. We were very young and not in a position to donate but I always vowed that one day I would pay them back. They give a safe place to hundreds of families every year, they give us hope and understanding and they don’t ask for anything is return. 

Tegan is now a thriving 12 (nearly 13yrs) year old. Kind, thoughtful and high achieving, you wouldn’t guess the battle she has fought. She still has regular check ups and will continue to do so all of her life but it’s a small price to pay…..

Thank you so much Homes from Homes. You did more for us than you will her know❤️

About the charity

The Sick Children’s Trust is the charity that gives families with a seriously ill child in hospital a comfortable place to stay and a friendly ear to listen in one of our ten ‘Homes from Home’. By providing families with somewhere to stay near their child they have one less thing to worry about.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £182.50 Gift Aid
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Offline donations

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