When you’re sat in a hospital waiting room there’s normally an awkward silence.
And when you’re loved one is in an intensive care unit, you are waiting in an even more intensive environment. In a bid to make chit chat whilst waiting with other anxious parents inside Leeds Paediatric Intensive Care Unit I discovered a family whose child’s heart had been pretty much re-created by hand by specialist surgeons at the hospital (who also fly around the world to help other complex cases), another family who didn’t know why their child was constantly having fits and us, we had a three-month-old baby who had stopped breathing and started bleeding from the nose and mouth.
We like the other family were in the dark about what was going on with our child, but all we could rely on were the consultants, doctors and nurses who were doing everything they could to try and find out the root of the problems in order to try and save their lives.
When we were back by my baby’s hospital bed a consultant came to join us to give us an update.
He had come in especially from his day off to assist our baby Arianna and find out what was wrong with her. He had called consultants around the world to find out why she wasn’t breathing unaided. He hadn’t found out what it was yet but I couldn’t have asked for anymore. He added that he wouldn’t go home until he knew what was a matter.
As Arianna wasn’t breathing without the use of a ventilator it was decided that she would have a tracheotomy but luckily when they went to insert the tube she took her first breath unaided.
It was later discovered that Arianna had strep B and pneumonia and because she was a newborn she had just stopped breathing in response to this. Luckily the blood was from burst blood vessels rather than anything more sinister.
Arianna is now a lively, strong and happy-go-lucky kid without any memories of the trauma.
But we vowed to help in any way because the care she received (for free) was first-class, so when I heard about Leeds Cares – the partner charity of Leeds Teaching Hospitals (where Arianna was treated) and their family friendly Canal Challenge to raise funds in support of patients and their families in Leeds, I jumped at the chance to get my family involved!
Leeds Cares is all about supporting health and well being for people of all ages in local communities across Yorkshire. So on Sunday 14th July, they’re encouraging as many people as possible to get outdoors and stay active while raising valuable funds for a great cause by walking (or running!) along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal! There’s something for everyone with 3 routes to choose from; we’ll be walking the 4-mile ‘Family Track’ a buggy and wheelchair accessible route, but there’s also the 14-mile ‘Middle Track’ if you fancy a longer walk, and the ‘Epic Track’ if you want to challenge yourself to take on a 29-mile trek!
We’ll be there trekking on the day, find out more and join us at this fantastic fundraising event: https://leeds-cares.org/events/canalchallenge/