A mum from Cleator, Cumbria, is taking on a skydive to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust after the charity provided support when her baby son was in hospital.
Erin Murray and her brother, Ellis, will be taking on the charity’s 10,000ft skydive challenge on Sunday 23 July to raise vital funds. They wanted to thank The Sick Children’s Trust for providing Erin and her partner, James, with a place to stay when their newborn son, Kyro, underwent two life-saving surgeries.
Erin’s 20-week scan revealed that Kyro had an oversized left lung which was pushing his heart to the wrong side of his body. Being closely monitored through the rest of her pregnancy, plans were made for Erin to be induced at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, where specialist teams would be on hand to treat Kyro immediately after he was born.
Kyro needed support with his breathing and, at just two days old, doctors found a growth on his airway. The family were rushed across Newcastle to The Freeman Hospital where Kyro underwent surgery to remove a cyst which had been preventing air from leaving his lungs. After six weeks on the Intensive Care Unit, Kyro’s oversized lung was still impacting his heart and needed correction. He underwent a second surgery to remove top lobe of his left lung, before returning to the RVI to recover on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Throughout their time in Newcastle Erin and James could always be by Kyro’s bedside thanks to the support of two of The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’: Crawford House at the RVI and Scott House and The Freeman. Erin said:
“It was an extremely worrying time during Kyro’s surgeries, but it was made easier thanks to the support of The Sick Children’s Trust. We live over 100 miles away from Newcastle so without the charity’s ‘Homes from Home’ we would have had to stay in hotel. There’s no way we could have afforded to do that for the length of time Kyro was in hospital and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him. Thanks to this wonderful charity we never had to.
“Crawford and Scott Houses were much more than a place for us to sleep. It gave us a quiet place to get our heads around what was going on away from the busy hospitals. We could also cook proper meals and look after ourselves. Over six weeks, they became our homes.
“Kyro was a little bit behind in his development and growth, but he is thriving now. At just ten months old he’s already trying to walk! We read about the skydive challenge while staying at Crawford House, and I said to James I was going to do it. We’re so grateful for the support we received from The Sick Children’s Trust that I wanted to repay them. I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m excited, but quite scared as well. I don’t think it will feel real until we’re up there.
The Sick Children’s Trust does not charge families to stay in any of its ‘Homes from Home’ however it does cost the charity £40 to support a family for one night. That cost is only rising with the cost-of-living crisis which is why the charity needs even more support. Community Fundraising Manager, Elisa Cappello Dowd, said:
“We’re so pleased we could support Erin and James throughout Kyro’s time in hospital. We can’t thank Erin and Ellis enough for taking part in our skydive weekend and supporting our ‘Homes from Home’ so we can keep more families together.
“Our ‘Homes from Home’ are much more than bricks and mortar. Our friendly, caring staff provide vital support to families when they need it most. As a charity we rely on the generosity of our supporters and fundraisers, like Erin and Ellis, to make sure we can continue supporting families while their children are seriously ill in hospital.”
More information about Erin’s fundraising can be found on her Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/erin-murray1