Sick Children’s Trust: Charity provided a lifeline when our baby needed us

The tot was born into heartache for parents Kim and Stuart, who had lost his twin brother in the womb at 21 weeks. But as Stuart cradles his giggling son the pair reflect on the charity that “threw them a lifeline” by providing accommodation at the hospital when they needed it the most. Kim said: “I’d barely accepted the fact I’d lost one baby and was terrified I might lose Kit too. It made all the difference in the world to be able to spend precious time with Kit. 

“It also allowed me to speak to other parents – even if it was just for two minutes in the kitchen while making a cup of tea – and share what was happening. 

“It made the worst time of our lives that bit easier.” 

Kit was delivered 12 weeks early on September 5, weighing just 2lb 6oz, while his tragic twin was also removed. 

Then, at three days old Kit’s lungs stopped working, he suffered two heart attacks and was diagnosed with a stage three brain bleed. 

It meant he needed to be transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge – a 90-minute drive from his 35-year-old parents’ family home in Southend, Essex. 

The Sick Children’s Trust paid for the accommodation and support at the hospital for eight weeks, until Kit was well enough to finally go home. 

Kim said: “We were so grateful to them for putting us up, so we could spend every waking moment by Kit’s bedside. 

“We’re now taking every day as it comes. We still enjoy the novelty of the little things like being able to dress him or put him in his car seat. 

“I’m sure we’ve been through the worst and our family can get through anything now.” 

● The Coussins family raised £2,500 for the charity to show their thanks. Find out more at sickchildrenstrust.org 

COMMENT BY JANE FEATHERSTONE

The Sick Children’s Trust makes sure families can be together by giving them a comfortable place to stay and supports them with a friendly ear. 

More than 3,500 families join us in our “Homes from Home” every year, when their child needs hospital treatment. 

We see first-hand the relief these families feel as they’re shown around to their own bedroom, which is just minutes’ walk from their child’s bedside. 

Kim and Stuart are one of these families. We helped them as their world was turned upside down when their son was rushed to hospital. Kit spent four weeks in Cambridge, but because of our Chestnut House he didn’t have to face hospital alone, as his parents were just a stone’s throw away. 

Not only did they have a quiet place to rest, they also met other families in a similar situation, who understood what they were going through. 

The Sick Children’s Trust relies entirely on donations to make sure families can be together. 

We would like to thank Kit’s parents for raising so much money for us. 

It costs £30 to give families a place to stay for one night. 

To find out more, visit www.sickchildrenstrust.org 

Jane Featherstone is CEO of Sick Children’s Trust

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