On 18th December I received a call on my way home that our little boy Ronnie (13 months) had been taken very ill and needed an ambulance to A&E. This was distressing, but something I had previous experience with...what transpired was not what we had experienced before. We were told that subsequent complications had led to Ronnie needing life support and an emergency transfer to Evelina London Children Hospital. He was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and we sat by his side as he received the most amazing care. I was, quite frankly, unable to process what was going on until a doctor took us aside to explain the gravity of the situation - even now I find it hard to write about. We are fortunate that he made a full recovery from this and we were able to be home for the new year with family. We are so grateful for the care we all received at Evelina London Children’s Hospital; however, for this event we have decided to raise money for a Charity that supports patients and families of this Hospital.
During this time we were provided with accommodation at Ronald McDonald House (RMH Evelina London) a few hundred metres from the hospital. These are purpose built homes specifically designed to serve the families of children’s ICU patients throughout the country. We were told that there may not be a room for us immediately as a number of rooms must be held back for emergency situations where children may not make it through the night and family are called to be nearby. We were relieved to not be in this situation. We were given a room that we could stay in with our Daughter, it became a home away from home for us and made an unbearable situation better. We could be together as a family rather than having to bear the extra stress of travel logistics and childcare. These facilities are funded by Ronald MacDonald foundation and private fundraising.
The Ronald McDonald website details explains these facilities as not just full of help, but also filled with hope. Families are stronger when they are together. Research shows that staying close by allows parents to better communicate with their child’s medical team and improves adherence to complicated treatment plans.
We are forever grateful and indebted to this charity for making this situation slightly more manageable for our family. Whilst no amount of money can match the care we received, it will go towards helping families that need it in times that are unimaginable until they happen.
On behalf of my family, and others who will or have already benefited from RMH Evelina London, thank you.