"It felt as if someone cared about us"

GUEST BLOGGER: JOSIE Greenhalgh 

Our daughter Annabel was born prematurely in 2011 with a small bowel atresia, where part of the intestines become blocked. At just two days old she underwent surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Five years later on 16 June 2016, at age five, Annabel was admitted to hospital with acute abdominal pain and vomiting. The hospital told us that our daughter had intestinal malrotation with obstructions and had to have extensive bowel surgery.

Having a poorly child is incredibly scary. We didn't leave our daughter's side for the first five days of being admitted to Birmingham Children's Hospital; we remained in the clothes we arrived in. We ate very little and slept less, too terrified to leave the hospital, let alone travel the 50 minute journey home.

On the fifth night, we were mentally and physically exhausted, emotionally drained and I was feeling unable to cope. That's when we were told there might be a room free for us at the Ronald McDonald House. I burst into tears. It seemed to be the only good news we had heard in a week. It felt as if someone cared about us.

Having a room here has enabled us both to alternate nights between the hospital and Ronald McDonald House (exactly 3 minutes 20 seconds from room to ward). Annabel remains to have at least one of us with her 24 hours a day. However, thanks to this amazing charity we now have the opportunity to catch up on sleep, eat a meal and continue to be strong and positive parents to our incredible daughter.

Having stayed at Ronald McDonald House in 2011 for six weeks and again more recently for seven weeks, we are so very, very grateful for all the support the Charity has provided us. Thank you!

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