At our darkest point, The Sick Children’s Trust kept us by our daughter’s side
As a new decade begins, The Sick Children’s Trust is focusing on supporting even more families with seriously ill children in hospital with a place to stay and friendly ear to listen. Over the last ten years, the charity has supported 33,749 families across its ten ‘Homes from Home’, one of which was Dominic’s. We caught up with Dominic recently who tells us just how much our support meant to him when his daughter Jodi was in hospital far away from home.
When we lost our daughter, Jodi, in 2010 our world fell apart. These were dark times that took us many years to pull through. You deal with it and learn to live with it because there’s no other way. The emotional scars will never heal, but life does get more bearable with every year that passes.
Jodi had a condition called aplastic anaemia where bone marrow doesn’t produce sufficient new cells to replenish blood cells. When she was just 11 years old, she was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, well over an hour away from our home in Colchester.
Jodi passed away on March 4, 2010 after a hard fight but through such immense heartbreak you are left with a gift that people rarely talk about. The gift of a heightened awareness as to what it means to be alive. You are relieved of ‘sweating the little things’, bemoaning life’s trivialities, or getting down over stuff that doesn’t really matter ‘in the grand scheme of things’. A blessing that only comes from such intense loss or a valuable gifted lesson in mindfulness maybe?
At our darkest point, The Sick Children’s Trust provided us with the only thing that truly mattered at such a critical point in our daughter’s plight – a free ‘Home from Home’ on the site of Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Our immediate family were housed at Acorn House for several days to enable us to be at her side in an instant. Keeping the family together was vital to us for emotional support. A warm, homely, normal house – the thing we needed most at a time of such immense distress. Jodi also knew that we were only a minute away, which I know she took great comfort in.
As part of our coping mechanism, after Jodi passed away, we embarked on a series of fundraising events for The Sick Children’s Trust. A good focus. A positive focus whilst everything else was so bleak. We are proud that we’ve managed to raise several thousand pounds through our events and efforts to date, together with donating several tablet PC’s for the children’s wards at Addenbrooke’s.
We continue our pledge as family ambassadors at every opportunity. As a creative filmmaker, and fledgling author, a percentage of proceeds from all my work, and any events I organise, will continue to support this amazing charity.
Rachel and Sal were given a place to stay at Chestnut House when their son, Aydin, was born not breathing and needed weeks of intensive care in Cambridge. Since staying with us, their friends and family have raised over £2,000 to thank us for giving them a 'Home from Home'.
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.