Ely mum backs charity’s Christmas appeal to help keep families by their sick child’s hospital bedside

Giving Georgie a place at Acorn Hover Christmastime minutes from Carter's bedside meant the world to her for many reasons. Read more here.

The mum of a little boy who became seriously ill on Christmas Day is thanking The Sick Children’s Trust for giving her a place to stay when her son was in hospital by backing its Together this Christmas appeal.

Georgie Monigatti, 25 from Littleport, noticed something wasn’t right with her son when he stopped feeding on Christmas Day 2019. Her son, Carter, was born prematurely on 6 December and despite being allowed home in time for Christmas they were back in hospital on Boxing Day, fighting for life. Carter had contracted a respiratory virus which coupled with a cold caused severe breathing apnoea. Carter was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he remained for the next ten days. During this time, Georgie was given a place to stay by The Sick Children’s Trust at its Acorn House, just a few minutes from Carter’s bedside. Georgie, along with her husband Sean, are now backing The Sick Children’s Trust’s Christmas appeal to help other families stay together over the festive period when their child is in hospital.

As the nation plans a different sort of Christmas this year, for families with a seriously ill child in hospital Christmas always looks different. By giving a family with a child in hospital a place to stay, families like Carter’s can be together at Christmas. Georgie said:

 “Watching my baby be resuscitated was the scariest thing I have ever been through. When he was stable and taken to PICU, he was covered in tubes and looking at him I felt my heart break into pieces. I knew we were likely to be in hospital for a while, but I never thought about where I was going to stay. In PICU, there was just the chair that I was sitting on.

“I didn’t have to think or worry too much about how I’d cope as I was handed the keys to Acorn House and when I arrived, I felt at home.  The days on the hospital wards were long. There were days I felt devastated and could go back to Acorn House and cry in private, but equally I knew there was always someone to talk to when I walked through those doors. It really meant the world to me in that moment, as I didn’t feel alone.

“Since leaving hospital, Carter has been back for an emergency hernia operation however he is doing really well now. On his birthday, we will be celebrating him and how strong and amazing he is. He has come so far in a year and got through so much, I am so proud. This Christmas, I’ll be encouraging people to think about families like mine, who suddenly end up in hospital with their critically ill child. Having The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ really made the world of difference to me.”

After a year of being separated from our loved ones, grandparents, brothers, sisters and friends, Christmastime is when we want to be together. All families with seriously ill children in hospital want is to be together. The reality is they might not be at home for Christmas. They might be in a hospital far away from home.

The Sick Children’s Trust wants to keep families together by their child’s hospital bedside, and with a donation of £30 can do that. Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive at The Sick Children’s Trust, said:

“When Carter suddenly became critically ill his parents were thrown into a world of uncertainty. But having a place to stay at Acorn House, Georgie could focus on being there for Carter while also looking after herself. We are so pleased to hear he is doing well, and wish him a very happy first birthday.”

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