EACH Quidenham hospice offering a lifeline to family of seriously-ill Old Catton youngster
PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 November 2017
Copyright: Archant 2017
Work has started on the £10m EACH nook hospice in Framingham Earl, to replace the Quidenham hospice. Sophie Wyllie spoke to a family helped by the charity.
It was a place which they resisted at first after their newborn son James suffered severe brain damage at birth - leading to quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
But following just over two years of support from EACH staff at the Quidenham hospice, Becca and Steve Eagling, from Old Catton in Norwich, have spoken of their gratitude to the charity.
Mrs Eagling, 37, who has taken a three-year career break as an accountant to care for James and her 15-month-old daughter Sophie, said: “After James was born, nurses at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) wanted us to get Quidenham involved from day one but we resisted. You hear the word hospice think your child is going to die. I wasn’t prepared to accept James was going to die.
“I don’t know how we would have coped without Quidenham. We are so grateful to them.”
Their two-year-old son - whose overall development is severely delayed because of his life-limiting condition - spent one week at the hospice over his first birthday following a prolonged epileptic seizure.
As well as suffering from epilepsy, he has no neck control and cannot move his legs or arms; has poor vision; and is at risk of contracting infections.
The toddler is cared for at home by his mother but is visited twice a month by an EACH nurse.
He also receives play and music therapy through hospice staff.
Mrs Eagling, from Lodge Farm Drive, attends a monthly coffee morning, where she meets other parents of children helped by the hospice, and receives counselling.
The charity also takes the whole family on special trips, including the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
“During the week when we stayed at Quidenham, the staff were brilliant,” Mrs Eagling said.
She added: “They did everything for James and allowed us to have a break as well as giving us time with him. They made such a fuss of him during his birthday.”
The mother-of-two added the hospice brought “a bit fun” for children and their families during special trips.
She said: “EACH is here for the whole family, not just James.”
The accountant praised the Quidenham hospice as a “lovely old building” but said it was too small for its current demand.
She added the new hydrotherapy pool in the nook would benefit her son.
Big demand for new hydrotherapy pool
Many youngsters will benefit from the new hydrotherapy pool at Norfolk’s new nook hospice.
Seven-year-old Bethany Smith, from Norwich, is one of them.
She has a neuromuscular condition meaning that her muscles are not as strong as they should be.
In addition, she has been diagnosed with chest infection susceptibility which affects her respiratory and immune systems.
Since June 2014 Bethany has been receiving hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy work through EACH.
Speaking about the benefits of hydrotherapy, her parents Caroline and Steve Smith said: “The progress she has made is wonderful, she’s gone from being unable to support her head or sit up on her own to being able to support her head, sit up unaided and shuffle along the floor. An EACH pool at the new hospice would make so much difference to us as well as so many other families.”
How to support the nook appeal
From buying a Christmas decoration to a virtual brick - there are many ways to support the nook appeal.
■The nook friends group - The volunteer fundraising group wants people to save loose change in collection boxes this winter. Contact Judith Sykes on 01508 494873 or email email@example.com.
■Buy a brick - People can buy a brick for £20, £100, £500 or £1,000 in memory of a loved one for a virtual wall. Visit www.each.org.uk/buyabrick
■My £10 challenge - People can give up something that will save £10. Participants need to photograph themselves showing how they saved the money, sharing it on social media via #My10pound and donating via www.each.org.uk or by texting NOOK10 £10 to 70070.
■EACH Butterfly baubles - Intu Chapelfield in Norwich is selling 2,017 baubles for £30 or £35.
■To help with any form of fundraising call 01953 666767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.