A Grimsby mum has raised £500 for a charity who kept her close to her son when he needed emergency surgery at just six days old.
Steph Sewell’s son Alex was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, which is a lifelong condition affecting the nerves in the lower part of the bowel. It can cause constipation and other health problems, including infections which Alex developed.
Alex was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital – 67 miles away from home – to have a stoma bag fitted in November 2017 before having major surgery in February 2018 to remove 80% of his bowel. Alex, who turns four in October, continues to need further check-ups to monitor the situation.
During his first surgery, Steph and her partner Simon were able to be by Alex’s side as they were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Magnolia House.
They were unable to stay on the ward with Alex and were trying to find a hotel close to the hospital until nurses told them about Magnolia House.
Steph was so grateful for the charity’s help that she raised a Disney-themed interactive quiz on September 16 this year, with the help of local business owner Steve King, to help keep more families together.
Steph said: “Everything happened so quickly and before we knew it we were in a different city with our newborn son watching him recover from surgery.
“We were unable to stay on the ward with him and as we were trying to find a hotel close to the hospital the nurses told us about Magnolia House, a ‘Home from Home’ located just a short walk from the ward.
“Alex was in hospital for two weeks during that first stay and it made such a massive difference being able to stay so close to him. His second surgery was successful and he has been doing well since, but he will need further check-ups as we continue to monitor his condition.
“Staying at The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ made our situation that little bit better which is why we want to raise funds so that more families can benefit from the same support we did.”
Steve, who hosts quizzes across the local area and helped put the event together, added: “The whole night was a huge success with all the teams all having a great time with the quiz, Disney themed cocktails and fancy dress! All the money raised will support The Sick Children’s Trust and families with seriously ill children in hospital.”
Magnolia House Manager Ann Wyatt said: “We’re so pleased to have been able to support Steph and Simon and keep them close to Alex’s bedside while he was in hospital. We do not charge families to stay at our ‘Homes from Home’, but it does cost the charity £30 to support a family for one night.
“£30 gives them a comfortable place to stay and a friendly ear to listen. An event like this helps us to give families a warm and comfortable place to stay and we want to say a big thank you for their support.”