Meet the Bell family
GUEST BLOGGERS: LAURA AND PHIL BELL
Laura and Phil tell us their story and why they took part in our Hike 4 Houses event to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
On 28th June 2016, our world was changed by the birth of our beautiful baby boy Elliot.
Little did we know that 26 hours later it would be turned upside down again, when he was found to have several birth defects. These was later diagnosed as VACTERL association, a disorder that affects many different body systems.
We spent two long months in neonatal care at St Thomas’ Hospital. During that time we were lucky enough to get a room at the Ronald McDonald House nearby.
It's hard to put into words just how valuable this room was to us! Sure, it saved us the daily, hour long journey home, but it was more than that. It saved us the absolute pain of going home without our newborn baby boy.
The House helped us to create a new 'normal', completely detached from our lives back home, and that made it easier not to compare our new life to what it was 'supposed' to be like.
We also got to meet and chat with other parents who were in the same situation as us, which is so important when you feel so completely alone. Above all that, we got to spend as much time as we could with our little boy.
So far, we have spent 56 nights at Ronald McDonald Houses and that's likely to increase. Our aim over the next few years is to pay back at least what it cost the Charity to put us up. At £25 per night, that comes to £1,400. So much the better if we raise even more than that and help put up many more families like ours in future!