Mara's Story

Your donations help to support families who have to come a long way to get the very best care for their children. Here, Mara's mum Nicky tells how your donations made a difference to their time in hospital. 

"We stayed at the Sick Kids right at the start of lockdown and through summer. Our baby Mara had just never been well since birth. At six months old, she took very unwell and was intubated and flown to Edinburgh in the middle of the night from Aberdeen.

"Mara had quite a rollercoaster during her time at the Sick Kids. She was in critical care for 18 weeks and then spent the last two weeks in Ward 1. She picked up some bad infections and just kept getting sicker. Her dad was called one weekend when things really took a turn for the worst.

"We had some truly awful moments in the Sick Kids but we also made some happy memories too. On one sunny day when it was unbearably hot on the ward, during Mara's physio session, we gave her a foot spa complete with bubbles!


"As we were so far from home, we were fortunately able to stay in PJ's Loft – the parents’ accommodation funded by Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity - so we could stay close to Mara."

- Nicky, Mara's mummy

"I used to count the 87 stairs from the Intensive Care ward to PJs to try to take my mind off everything going on. They are the most tiring thing when you are already so weary. Looking out the top red window on the way up or down was often the only glimpse I'd get of the outside world.

"As our two children couldn't visit due to Covid restrictions, the nurses decorated Mara's window so they could shout up and see her from the car park. They also decorated her bed space to make it feel more like home.

"She had everyone wrapped around her little finger! Sometimes the consultants would start their rounds at the other side of the ward so they could play with Mara when they were finished. She had so many friends there too - she had more of a social life during lockdown than most!

"Eventually, she had a trip to Glasgow where she had open heart surgery before returned 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. We have been home almost five months now and you would never even known that Mara had ever been so unwell - she's a true medical miracle!" - Nicky, Mara's mummy


Your donations fund the parents' accommodation so families like Nicky and Mara can stay together during their time in hospital. If you are in a position to give, please consider making a donation to help parents stay close to their children through the toughest of times. Click here to donate now.

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