Mum backs charity’s Christmas appeal to help keep families by their sick child’s hospital bedside

A Littleport mum whose young son became seriously ill on Christmas Day has thanked the charity that gave her a place to stay when he was hospitalised.

Georgie Monigatti is backing The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Together this Christmas’ appeal after the 25-year-old noticed something wasn’t right with her son when he stopped feeding on Christmas Day 2019.

Carter was born prematurely on December 6 and, despite being allowed home in time for Christmas, they were back in hospital on Boxing Day, fighting for his life.

Carter had contracted a respiratory virus which, coupled with a cold, caused severe breathing apnoea.

He was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he remained for the next ten days.

During this time, Georgie was given a place to stay by The Sick Children’s Trust at its Acorn House, just a few minutes from Carter’s bedside.

Georgie and her husband Sean are now backing the trust’s Christmas appeal to help other families stay together over the festive period when their child is in hospital.

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Georgie said: “Watching my baby be resuscitated was the scariest thing I have ever been through.

“When he was stable and taken to PICU, he was covered in tubes and looking at him I felt my heart break into pieces.

“I knew we were likely to be in hospital for a while, but I never thought about where I was going to stay.

“In PICU, there was just the chair that I was sitting on. I didn’t have to think or worry too much about how I’d cope as I was handed the keys to Acorn House and when I arrived, I felt at home.

“The days on the hospital wards were long. There were days I felt devastated and could go back to Acorn House and cry in private.

“But, equally, I knew there was always someone to talk to when I walked through those doors. It really meant the world to me in that moment, as I didn’t feel alone. “Since leaving hospital, Carter has been back for an emergency hernia operation however he is doing really well now. On his birthday, we will be celebrating him and how strong and amazing he is.

“He has come so far in a year and got through so much, I am so proud. This Christmas, I’ll be encouraging people to think about families like mine, who suddenly end up in hospital with their critically ill child.

“Having The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ really made the world of difference to me.”

For further information or to donate, visit The Sick Children’s Trust website.