You can’t put a price on what it gives you

Susan is the proud Nanna to Sophie, a little girl who was suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent emergency major surgery. Since Sophie's parents received support at Crawford House Susan has been fundraising for our 'Home from Home'

Fundraising for Crawford House is something very important to us and close to our hearts.

When we were told that our granddaughter, Sophie, had a brain tumour it was like a bolt out of the blue. There was no time to prepare and no build up. The next day she would need surgery. My son, William, and his wife, Laura, were in Newcastle at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, a good 15 miles away from home. I remember Gary, my husband, and I, scoured the internet looking for hotels and bed and breakfasts as we didn’t know where they would be able to stay close to Sophie.

Fortunately, a place to stay was arranged between the hospital and The Sick Children’s Trust which runs Crawford House. Laura and William stayed there throughout Sophie’s weeks of treatment and recovery.

At first Crawford House was so wonderful because it was just close, but as the days passed it was how comfortable it was, and how much of a ‘Home from Home’ it really became. We could cook meals, Laura and William could do their washing, have a rest and have a shower. It was comfortable and friendly. It was everything they needed while Sophie was in hospital.

As parents and family, had we not had Crawford House we wouldn’t have had a base and somewhere we could support Laura and William and keep them company. They knew that their family was there for them – even if they were up in their room and we were sat downstairs having a cup of tea.

It was when we were sat in the living room with Jonny and Stephen, Williams brothers, that it dawned on us just what Crawford House was really giving us. It was giving us comfort to know that our children were so close to their child and could be with her in an instant. We all agreed that we really needed to do something for Crawford House as it had been there for us even though we never knew it existed.

Since then, as a family, we have raised close to £10,000 and we will be continuing to fundraise for as long as we can. Stephen held a golf day, Jonny did a bike ride over the whole of August 2020, we’ve held a fundraising night, set up online birthday fundraising pages, my sister in law has been doing a ‘Sewing for Sophie’ project and our ex-colleagues at Lloyds bank have even got behind us. It’s been a real family effort.
I remember when Sophie was having her first surgery, which was 12 hours long, rather than sitting in a waiting room, we were sitting in a lovely living room. You can’t put a price on that, and it’s made me want to give that to other families with a child in hospital.

Over time I have found out more about what the charity does for families and now I’m even more passionate about doing what I can to help. Especially knowing that the charity relies entirely on donations to keep Crawford House running. Even more so over this last year with the pandemic.

Sophie is now doing great, and I get to look after her for two mornings a week. She’s as bright as a button, a lovely girl and a miracle in my eyes. I can’t think of what might have been, I am just so delighted she’s doing so well and that we can thank Crawford House for keeping her family by her side during that time.

Nanna Susan Hope

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