Mum's thanks to charity that supported her while son was critically ill
- Credit: The Sick Children's Trust
A mum says she doesn’t think she would have coped without the support of the charity that helped her when her son became seriously ill after contracting a respiratory virus.
She is now thanking staff at The Sick Children's Trust for helping her to be just minutes away from her son throughout his illness and recovery period.
Georgie Monigatti’s baby boy, Carter, was born at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge a month earlier than his due date and had previously stayed in hospital with jaundice.
On Boxing Day 2019, Carter wasn’t feeding properly and would scream but then suddenly become quiet.
That's when Georgie became very concerned and rushed Carter to A&E with her partner, Sean.
When Georgie arrived at Addenbrooke’s, an hour away from their home, Carter’s condition had deteriorated considerably and he needed to be resuscitated.
“Watching a large number of medical staff gather around my baby boy to resuscitate him was the scariest thing I have ever been through,” said Georgie.
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“Eventually, the doctors managed to stabilise Carter, but he was still struggling with his breathing and needed to be intubated and kept on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
“He had developed a respiratory virus from a cold and as a result was experiencing breathing apnoea due to a build-up of mucus in his lungs.”
Georgie went to see Carter in PICU where he was covered in tubes, and she says she felt her heart break into pieces.
“I was just sitting there,” she said.
There was a chair next to Carter’s bed that Georgie was prepared not to move from until he got better, but with parents unable to stay on intensive care wards with their children, this wasn’t an option.
As Georgie was trying to work out how she was going to cope with the situation she was now in, she was told about The Sick Children’s Trust and its ‘wonderful’ Acorn House.
Acorn House is one of ten ‘Homes from Home’ the charity runs which supports families from across the country, providing them with a free place to stay close to their seriously ill children’s hospital bedside.
Georgie said: “I was still hesitant at first about leaving Carter’s side, but when the nurses told me that Acorn House was just minutes away from the hospital the more comfortable I felt about staying there.
“I knew it was likely we would be in hospital for a while; The Sick Children’s Trust supports families for an average of 14 nights when their children are on the incentive care units, so knowing we had a place to stay took away a lot of these extra stresses.”
She added: “When I arrived at Acorn House, I felt at home – there was a kitchen, living room and even a playroom for Carter’s sister to stay as well when the time was right.”
During Carter’s two-week recovery, Georgie was always just minutes away from his side with Sean and her daughter Elsie and also being able to stay at Acorn House.
“Acorn House was our ‘Home from Home’ for two weeks while Carter recovered and he’s been doing amazing ever since, having reached all his milestones and is such a loud and energetic character,” said Georgie.
This year, The Sick Children’s Trust is celebrating 40 years of keeping families like Georgie’s together while their children are seriously ill in hospital.
Since the charity was launched in 1982, they have made sure that more that 73,000 families have been able to stay just minutes from their ill child’s hospital bedside.
Georgie is now encouraging others to support the charity’s 40th celebration appeal to raise £237,000 which will support families in all 148 rooms of its ten ‘Homes from Home’ for 40 nights.
She said: “No parent wants to leave their child while they’re in hospital and by supporting The Sick Children’s Trust and its ‘Homes from Home’ you can make sure more families can be together.
“Without Acorn House, Carter’s time in hospital would have been so much harder; I don’t think I would have coped.
“From my family to you, thank you.”
To donate £40 to the charity, visit sickchildrenstrust.org