A helping hand through traumatic times
"It was very traumatic for us - our son was very seriously ill and we found ourselves in a foreign country, not able to speak the lanuage"
Hanniffia - Cameron's mum
Following what should have been a short break to Poland for a wedding, Cameron was admitted to hospital in high dependency with meningoencephalitis. This inflammation of the brain's membranes and the adjacent cerebral tissues left Cameron in a coma for 12 days, requiring sinus and brain surgery.
A month later, the family returned to the UK via air ambulance to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh where Cameron's parents, Hanniffia and Kevin were put up in Parent Accommodation.
“We were offered a room in the Parents Accommodation funded by Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity. This made a huge difference as we were able to stay close to our son at all times. During the night we were only minutes away from him and the added comfort of a telephone in the room directly linked to his ward offered us additional reassurance.”
Being 15, the playroom toys were a bit young for him, but Cameron was able to use equipment like the Wii games console to keep him entertained, with competition nights organised to bring children of all ages together and help them forget everything going on with their health.
"As a family we have all benefitted particularly from the Drop in Centre. It was so valuable to have a place that we could go that was away from the hospital ward. It also provided us with somewhere we could talk to other parents facing similar difficulties, and let Cameron spend time with his friends in a relaxed,homely environment.
"The staff are all extremely welcoming - the genuinely understand the challenges that parents are faced with and always make time and offer a good listening ear. We cannot thank them enough for the many cups of tea, chats and relaxing therapies we enjoyed."
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation provide £120,000 per year to staff and maintain the Drop In Centre. As Hanniffia says " It's worth its weight in gold and it has had a very positive impact on us during an extremely traumatic time"
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