Upminster mum takes on 'Long Walk Home' to thank The Sick Children's Trust

Staying at Stevenson House, just minutes from baby Albert's bedside "was the biggest relief", says mum Rebecca Powell.

A mum from Upminster is taking on a fundraising walk for The Sick Children’s Trust, after we provided her and her partner with a ‘Home from Home’ when their eight-month-old baby was on life support The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Baby Albert at The Royal London Hospital. Credit: Rebecca Powell.

On Valentine’s Day 2023, Rebecca Powell’s son Albert was rushed to Queen’s Hospital in Romford suffering from acute lung failure triggered by bronchiolitis, being intubated and quickly transferred to the Royal London’s renowned paediatric intensive care unit, where he spent the next four days on a ventilator. Rebecca, 34, said:

“It was a terrifying situation. Albert had been hospitalised a couple of times by bronchiolitis, but this was different. The doctors at Queens told us that they needed to stabilise him as quickly as possible, so intubated him to take the pressure off his lungs, which were really struggling. We knew it was an emergency and it became very scary, especially when we were told he needed to be transferred to the Royal London for intensive care.”

Throughout Albert’s time at The Royal London Hospital Rebecca and Dean Atkins (34), her partner, were able to stay close to Albert’s side thanks to Stevenson House, our ‘Home from Home’ located just minutes from the hospital ward and completely free of charge. Rebecca said:

“In the grand scheme of things The Royal London Hospital isn’t that far from Upminster, but when your child is on life support and needing around the clock care, you just don’t want to leave their side. Albert had numerous bad reactions to the medication, so we desperately needed to remain close. 


Dean Atkins and Rebecca Powell with Albert. Credit: Rebecca Powell.

“Staying at Stevenson House and being just a few minutes from his bedside was the biggest relief; it removed so much stress from the situation. We wouldn’t have been able to afford a hotel, so without Stevenson House our only option would have been travelling back and forth on the Tube. 

“I’d be with Albert from early in the morning until way past midnight every day, trying to support his care. At the end of each day I was so grateful to have somewhere so close where I could rest my head, have a shower and a bite to eat before getting straight back to the hospital to be with him.”  

After four days of intensive treatment, baby Albert had recovered enough to return to Queen’s Hospital, where he spent a further two days before being discharged home. While Albert has experienced further bronchiolitis episodes, Rebecca says that the now two-year-old is thriving. Rebecca said:

“We have been back to A&E a few times, but it was never as severe as the Valentine’s Day episode. He now has a preventative inhaler and has regular check-ups at our local asthma clinic, who are so pleased with how he is doing. They hope it something he’ll grow out of, but he’s doing really well at the moment which is fantastic.”

Mum Rebecca says Albert is “doing really well at the moment”. Credit: Rebecca Powell.

To thank our charity for its support, Rebecca is now taking on the Home to Home walking challenge, clocking up a target of 50 miles throughout June to raise vital funds. Rebecca said: 

“I really wanted to give something back to The Sick Children’s Trust after they were there for us when we really needed it, to acknowledge how important that was for us. We are so, so grateful, especially knowing that it costs the charity around £40 to support a family for one night. I’ve been going out of my way to get the miles in every day, making a special effort. I really hope It helps this wonderful charity.” 

More information about Rebecca’s fundraising can be found on her Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/rebecca-powell-sct-longwalkhome

The Long Walk Home is part of The Sick Children’s Trust’s Home to Home challenge series, where fundraisers up and down the country take on cycles, swims, runs, walks and toddles in support of our ten ‘Homes from Home’. 

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