When Aiden was moved from Broomfield hospital to The Rosie Centre at Addenbrookes, some 45 miles away from home we didn’t even think about where we would stay, we just knew we had to be with our son, even if it meant sleeping on the floor in the parents room or paying for a hotel.
We were very fortunate that The Sick Children’s Trust had a unit at the Rosie called Chestnut House, they have 8 rooms available to those with very sick children. We were lucky to be told there was one room left and we had been assigned it, meaning we could have 24 hour access to our son and somewhere to rest our heads and try and process everything that was happening.
Chestnut House although based at The Rosie, is completely charity funded, they were our life line and their tag line of ‘we’re here so you can be there’ sums everything up for us. For the whole time Aiden was at The Rosie we had somewhere to sleep, access to kitchen, a communal lounge and importantly other people going through similar situations.
One of the most important support systems we had whilst staying at Chestnut House was Helen Salmon, the House Manager. Helen was a sholder to cry on (literary numerous times), a guiding voice in the dark times, telling us to take it hour by hour, day by day and to cherish the memories and celebrate Aidens progress.
It costs Chestnut House £30 per night to run one room and they are generally always full, this shows what a valuable resource they are.
Since leaving Chestnut House Aiden has raised over £1000.00 for SCT. Friends and family have held coffee mornings, cake sales, we have taken part in the Hyde Park Walk and been to the wonderful Christmas Carol Service held in London.
Please take a minute to look at the Sick Childrens Trust website, www.sickchildrenstrust.org.