“Knowing you can have a shower, make your own food and relax makes all the difference.”
Madeleine’s mum, Paula
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation supports the accomodation available to parents who want to stay close to their child during their stay in hospital. Although the hospital looks after children in the local area it is also used by children across Scotland who travel to access the specialist care available.
Children can be in the hospital for a significant amount of time and it is important that there is somewhere that parents can rest and stay that is close by and free of charge so that the extra expense does not become an additional burden or worry.
Madeleine was born with a cleft palette and a significant eye condition and had her first operation when she was just 10 months old. Mum, Paula, has been coping with Madeleine’s multiple conditions for 15 years now and life has been tough for them both. Madeleine has a visual impairment, so life has been about adapting to challenges for her and the family, especially as she has an older brother who has also needed support through the hard work and stress of exams.
Having got over the cleft palette surgery and been discharged from hospital care for her eye condition, which was stable, Madeleine was beginning to get back to normal. “But then Madeleine was diagnosed with scoliosis and needed surgery on her spine,” says mum. “We live in Glasgow and needed to come to the Sick Kids in Edinburgh as the specialist spine unit is here. It’s tough being away from home; I’ve felt vulnerable at times, but everyone here has been fantastic, without exception.”
"It’s tough being away from home; I’ve felt vulnerable at times, but everyone here has been fantastic, without exception."
Making all the difference
Madeleine had to stay in hospital for a week to recover from major
surgery on her spine. “She will be off school for around a month,” says
Paula, “and life just doesn’t feel normal. If it wasn’t for the DVDs,
the Wi-Fi and the other great distractions and activities provided, the
kids here would feel very frustrated.”
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation funds support for families while their children are in hospital. “Knowing you can have a shower, make your own food and relax makes all the difference,” says Paula, “without support like this, I really don’t know what I’d do.”
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