Durham children complete Long Toddle Home challenge in support baby girl

Two sisters alongside seven of their friends and family completed the Long Toddle Home to raise funds to support Eckersley House and our 'Homes from Home'

Two sisters from Durham have completed their five-mile walking challenge in support of their baby sister and the charity that supported their family while she was in hospital.

Lexi, and Erin Kirby wanted to raise funds for The Sick Children’s Trust to thank the charity for supporting their parents, Elizabeth Lambert and Shaine Kirby while their baby sister, Paighton Kirby, was receiving treatment in Leeds for a kidney condition. They were joined by seven of their friends and family, with Kyra, Harper, Skylar, Amelia, Evan, Brooke and Archie all taking on the charity’s Long Toddle Home challenge, walking five miles with their respective family members throughout the month of June.

At seven weeks old baby Paighton was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham with suspected prolonged jaundice. After undergoing tests she was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a condition where the bile ducts outside and inside the liver are blocked preventing bile from flowing into the intestine, with the build-up damaging her liver.

Paighton needed specialist medical attention and was transferred 90 minutes away to Leeds Children’s Hospital. Elizabeth and Shaine travelled with her, but it was clear that Paighton was going to have a prolonged stay in hospital. With the couple facing a 100-mile round trip to be with their daughter, the nurses arranged for them to be supported by The Sick Children’s Trust and its ‘Home from Home’ Eckersley House, located just minutes from the hospital.

Over the next nine weeks Paighton underwent several surgeries to clear the blockage and remove the fluid that had built up. Each time she needed treatment in Leeds her parents were supported at Eckersley House, free of charge, so they could always be by her side. Paighton then underwent a procedure to remove the fluid-filled sack before her condition was made manageable through medication which she receives through a semi-permanent PICC line, a tube connected directly to a vein which reduces the use of needles when administering the medication.

With Paighton now doing well at home, the family want to raise awareness of biliary atresia as well as the support they received from The Sick Children’s Trust, with their local community coming together to support their fundraising efforts, raising over £300 for the charity through the Long Toddle Home challenge. Elizabeth said:

“It was a really worrying time, having our baby daughter go through all these procedures and surgeries, miles away from home in a city that we didn’t know well at all. Without the support of The Sick Children’s Trust and Eckersley House we wouldn’t have been able to stay together as a family. It would have been an absolute nightmare.

“Not a lot of people know about The Sick Children’s Trust but it’s a charity that every family should be aware of in case they need them. The support the charity gives families while their children are in hospital makes such an incredible difference.

“All the children who took part in the challenge live close together. When word got out that we were taking on this challenge to support Paighton and the charity, people wanted to join in. We want to raise as much money and awareness as possible for this amazing charity as without them we simply wouldn’t have been able to get through Paighton’s time in hospital. Eckersley House really was our ‘Home from Home’ and we want to make sure more families can benefit from that support.

“Paighton is doing much better now, she’s been reaching all of her milestones and she has just started to learn to roll on her front to begin crawling. She’s doing pretty much everything you’d expect a nearly nine-month-old baby to be doing and we’re just so happy to be together as a family at home again.”

More information about the groups fundraising can be found on Elizabeth’s Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/page/elizabeth-lambert-1710418620305

The Long Toddle Home is part of the charity’s Home to Home challenge series with supporters taking on cycles, swims, runs, walks and toddles all across the country to support The Sick Children’s Trust and it’s ten ‘Homes from Home’.

Related Content

Email Newsletter

Every year we help families by giving them somewhere to stay near their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside. Sign up to receive our email newsletters to stay up to date with how your support is helping to keep families together.