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Mara's Marching Mates

After spending months in hospital during lockdown with their desperately ill baby Mara; the Henderson family decided to join Team Edinburgh’s challenge to Lap the Map

At six months old, baby Mara became very unwell and was intubated and flown from Aberdeen to Edinburgh in the middle of the night.

“We spent 5 months at the Sick Kids during lockdown -18 weeks in critical care and the last two weeks in Ward 1. Mara picked up some bad infections and just kept getting sicker. Things really took a turn for the worse one weekend and her dad was called and asked to come to be with her.

“We had some truly awful moments in the hospital but we made some happy memories too. The NHS and ECHC staff were incredible. They decorated her bed space to make it feel more like home and put pictures in Mara’s window so that her brother and sister could shout up and see her as they weren’t allowed on the ward due to Covid. On one sunny day when it was unbearably hot on the ward, they organised a bubbly foot spa for Mara during her physio session.

“Eventually, Mara underwent open heart surgery in Glasgow before being transferred back to Edinburgh to be weaned off the ventilator. This was a real turning point for Mara and she has since gone from strength to strength.

“The Sick Kids will always be so special for us. We will always remember our time at the hospital when the world also went a bit crazy. When you are plucked from everything you know so suddenly and unexpectedly and under the worst circumstances, the last thing you think about is where you’re going to stay or how you are going to manage! ECHC made the worst time of our lives that little bit easier and we will always be so grateful.

“We decided to take part in Lap the Map this year for Team Edinburgh to try and help raise some money for ECHC. Mara was just starting to take her very first steps – so the timing was perfect! You would never know that Mara had ever been so unwell – she’s a true medical miracle!”