The Sick Children’s Trust is proud to announce that our Scott House ‘Home from Home’ has been given over £25,500 from a foundation set up by a family that were supported while their daughter underwent lifesaving open heart surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in 2015.
Luna Petrucci underwent lifesaving open heart surgery at The Freeman Hospital in 2015 but is now doing well. Credit: Sergio Petrucci.
Scott House, located just minutes away from the renowned Children’s Heart Unit at The Freeman, proved to be a lifeline for Sergio Petrucci and his wife Emma, who stayed there throughout their daughter, Luna’s, treatment. Red Sky Foundation, the charity founded by the Sunderland couple, is now proudly sponsoring three rooms at Scott House, one of which being the room that Sergio and Emma stayed in.
“To be able to give something back to The Sick Children’s Trust after the support they gave us at that incredibly difficult time really does mean a lot to us”, said Sergio, whose Red Sky Foundation supports cardiac related causes across the North East and has already raised over £950,000.
“We don’t live too far away from the Freeman Hospital, but still remain so thankful for Scott House as it allowed us to be with Luna pretty much all the time, which was so important to us and to her. It really is one of those places that you don’t realise how important it is until you really need it.”
Without The Sick Children’s Trust, families often have to travel long distances to be by their sick child’s bedside, often sleeping in uncomfortable hospital chairs or having to pay for expensive hotels just to remain close. The charity which also has ‘Homes from Home’ at major paediatric centres in Leeds, Sheffield, Cambridge, and London alleviates financial worries with a free place to stay, directly supporting the mental wellbeing of those families. The Sick Children’s Trust relies entirely on voluntary donations to keep their ‘Homes from Home’ running, with it costing the charity £40 to support a family for one night.
“It proved to be such a help for our family, and I really want to be able to ensure that Scott House gets the support that it needs to continue providing for families in need”, continued Sergio, who named his charity after the fiery red sky he witnessed from his Scott House window on the morning of Luna’s operation. “Kids from all over the country end up at The Freeman’s Children’s Heart Unit, with parents arriving having no idea about where they are going to stay. The accommodation removes so much stress for those parents. It becomes a sanctuary, a place where they can look after themselves a bit better by cooking a meal, washing clothes, and getting a bit of sleep during the most stressful times – I have since learned the financial support we’re making will provide over half of the families who come from the North East with a place to stay as close as they can to their sick child and we’re committing to providing this support for many years to come.”
The Red Sky Foundation was initially formed to raise vital funds to purchase life-saving equipment for The Freeman’s Children’s Heart Unit. However, it fast became a provider of premium care and support for those in need and has also provided ground breaking state of the art machines, facilities and after care at Sunderland Royal Hospital’s neonatal ward and the James Cook Hospital, Teesside. Additionally, the Red Sky Foundation has purchased several hundred public accessible defibrillators across the region and the wider UK, and their outreach community projects work closely with schools, work places, towns and cities to ensure that everyone possible is equipped with the knowledge and life-saving equipment should someone suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.
Sam Haley, Head of Operations North for The Sick Children’s Trust, said: “We are all so grateful to Sergio, Emma and Red Sky Foundation for this incredibly generous grant, one that will help our Scott House ‘Home from Home’ continue supporting families with a seriously ill child being treated at The Freeman when they really need it. Sergio and Emma know first-hand how important Scott House is to the families that stay there, and it is lovely that, through their charity, they are sponsoring the same room they stayed in eight years ago.
“Red Sky Foundation does such wonderful things, from providing community defibrillators to giving healthy eating food vouchers to families at The Freeman, many of whom are staying at Scott House. It is truly a force for good, and we really look forward to working closely with them in the years ahead.”
More information about Red Sky Foundation can be found at redskyfoundation.com.
Emma and Sergio Petrucci (standing) presented a cheque of £25,590 to Linsey Brough, House Manager of Scott House, and Connor Haley, Community Fundraising Officer for the North. Credit: Red Sky Foundation.