April 19, 2023 9.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Lincoln dad thanks charity for support during baby’s scary mystery illness

Damon is running the London Marathon to raise money for the charity

A Lincoln dad will be running the London Marathon this weekend to raise money for a charity that supported his family while his baby boy endured a ‘scary time’ in hospital.

Damon Branson’s son Quinn was born via emergency caesarean section on February 1, 2019 and both mum Lisa and their new baby stayed in hospital for two days before being allowed to return home.

However, at just three days old Quinn was struggling with feeding and Lisa decided to take their new-born to Lincoln’s A&E department where his condition rapidly deteriorated.

After being resusicated by medical staff at Lincoln County Hospital, Quinn was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, some 60 miles away from home, for specialist care.

Throughout Quinn’s time in Sheffield, Damon and Lisa were supported by Treetop House and Magnolia House, two ‘Homes from Home’ run by The Sick Children’s Trust.

The charity provides families with a place to stay close to their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside and Damon said they “were able to offer us accommodation so that we were able to stay with him through a very scary time.” There is no charge to stay at the ‘Homes from Home’, but it costs the charity £40 a night to support a family.

Quinn’s condition is said to “remain something of a mystery, but the specialist at Sheffield said the most likely diagnosis was Transient Hyperinsulinisum, which means that because he wasn’t feeding, his body went into shock after producing too much insulin,” his dad said.

Damon added that he “will be eternally grateful for the support” and wanted to say thank you to the charity. On Sunday, April 23 he will take on the London Marathon to raise money for them. He is so far raised over £880.

Donate to Damon’s fundraising page here

Quinn with dad Damon, who is running the London Marathon to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust. | Photo: Damon Branson

Recalling the tough time in hosptial, Damon said: “Basically, all hell broke loose. Quinn crashed and was quickly surrounded by medical staff, who were trying to resuscitate him.

“It was terrifying for us. They managed to stabilise him, but they didn’t know why this had happened. They couldn’t work out what was wrong with him.

“It was not long before a specialist team from Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham arrived, who were brilliant. They scanned his brain and did all sorts of tests on him, trying to get to the bottom of it.

“They told us that he needed to be sent to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, being blue-lighted directly to their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with us following as quickly as we could.

“Quinn was in NICU for around four days before eventually being well enough to move onto the High Dependency Unit, where he stayed for another five days.

“During this time they did everything they could feed him up, getting his milk via a feeding tube through his nose. Thankfully, he improved so much that he was eventually moved onto the regular ward, where we could be more involved in his care.

“He had so much treatment, but they eventually got him right and was discharged after three weeks. We were so relieved, and incredibly happy.”

Brotherly love – four-year-old Quinn is a wonderful big brother to Arlo, who is two-years-old. | Photo: Damon Branson

Quinn is now four-years-old and being a “fantastic big brother” to Arlo, who is two-years-old, and Damon is grateful for all the support from The Sick Children’s Trust.

He added: “If it wasn’t for The Sick Children’s Trust it would have been a disaster for us, being so far away from home and faced with the prospect of expensive hotels.

“As well as giving us the chance to get the rest we both needed and a quiet place to talk through everything that was happening, it proved vital for me to keep my business up and running.

“I’d often work on the bed with my laptop and phone when I could, just to keep things ticking over. I don’t know how we would have got by without their incredible support.”

Quinn in hospital. | Photo: Damon Branson

Damon will join 15 other runners who will be taking part in the London Marathon to support The Sick Children’s Trust.

He said: “With two young children and running my own business, it has been hard to find the time to train, but I’ve done as much as I can to get ready for this and I’m so pleased to be giving something back to The Sick Children’s Trust.

“I feel it is so important because what they did for us was priceless. I really hope I can raise a decent amount of money to give back to this wonderful charity.”

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