On Saturday 22nd June 2019 our team are abseiling the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth to raise valuable funds for Ronald Mcdonald House Charities.
Sponsor us at:- https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cleaned-with-care-ltd
My wife Suzanne & I (both Managing Directors of Cleaned With Care Ltd) first came across RMHC in the summer of 2015 when our son had complete cardiac collapse at just 13 days of age.
He was placed on full life support at Stoke Mandeville Hospital before being retrieved by the SORT (Southampton Oxford Retrieval Team) team to PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Southampton General Hospital. We were told that Cameron may be too unwell to make the journey to Southampton where he desperately needed to be in order to have a chance to fight for his life.
We kissed Cameron goodbye on the operating table in theatre. I still remember watching a tear drop from my eye on to his chest between the multitude of wires and tubes that were keeping him alive at the time.
As we walked to our car I held Suzanne’s hand as we hoped and prayed that we would see our son alive at the other end of our Journey. I then drove the 88 miles to Southampton in the middle of the night. We arrived at Southampton Hospital just before 2am and found the PICU on level 4. We buzzed the buzzer to the ward and were met by a nurse called Rosie who was awaiting Cameron’s arrival, then we sat and waited for the specialist PICU Ambulance to arrive with Cameron.
As we waited we wondered why this was happening, how this had happened, why it had to happen to our son. It was at this time we wondered how long we would be in Southampton for, where would we sleep, where would we have a shower, where would we clean our clothes, where would we eat etc etc
Cameron safely arrived in Southampton after several stops on route to adjust his medications and was successfully transferred onto a bed in PICU. At almost 5am Rosie told us to try to get some rest in the parents accommodation rooms just across the corridor from PICU.
We were thankful to have somewhere to rest…
We managed somehow to get about 3 hours sleep before heading back to PICU to see Cameron, Rosie and his consultants. We were then told that Cameron had a rare condition called Entrovirus Myocarditis which is failure of the left side of the heart caused by a virus called Entrovirus and that Cameron had a long and tough battle ahead if he was to pull through. (Only 7 children per year in the UK are affected by Camerons condition)
Later that afternoon we were taken to the then 6 month old, 53 bedroom Ronald Mcdonald House on the grounds of Southampton General Hospital and offered a room for the duration of our stay. We were welcomed and shown around the house by Michelle, the house manager at the time. Having the Ronald Mcdonald House to stay in took a huge weight off our minds allowing us to focus on Cameron and his recovery.
We then went back to PICU and we were told that there was nothing the team could do for Cameron in the way of surgery, no medicine that could fix his heart – we simply had to watch, wait and hope as the medical teams painstakingly managed his medications minute by minute. Cameron spend 35 nights on full life support fighting for his life and we spent a total of 49 nights staying in the Ronald Mcdonald House.
Im pleased to write that Cameron has since made a full recovery from Myocarditis although unfortunately he does still have regular admissions to hospital with respiratory problems.
Myself and my wife will be forever indebted to Ronald Mcdonald House Charities for providing us with a genuine home from home during the toughest days of our lives.
It costs the charity £25 per family, per night to provide a home from home. Somewhere to sleep comfortably, cook and eat, wash and clean your clothes.
Abseiling 100 meters down the side of Spinnaker Tower will be a challenge but one that we look forward to in order to help RMHC give other families a home from home in their hour of need.
Support us now by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cleaned-with-care-ltd