On 23 February 2016, 18 month old Lizzie Kelly was rushed to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at St George's Hospital in Tooting with a suspected case of meningitis. With mum, Frances Kelly, being 32 weeks pregnant and the family home being over 15 miles away, the family were treated as a high priority and within one day were given a room at Ronald McDonald House Tooting.
With Lizzie’s age and illness, it was imperative to her well being to have either mum or dad with her 24/7. They were able to sleep properly in one of the House’s comfortable bedrooms, eat home-cooked meals, and share shifts at the hospital. After a few weeks of staying at the House, the family were told that there was extensive damage to Lizzie’s left leg caused by the illness and that unfortunately it would have to be amputated below the knee. This was a tremendous blow to an already stressed Frances and dad Gerard.
The family said that having Ronald McDonald House Tooting’s facilities, location and support helped them deal with the amputation a whole lot better than they would have otherwise.
Once Lizzie was on the road to recovery, she was able to come over to the Tooting House herself to play and eat with her parents, thus retaining some sense of normality, at an otherwise terrifying time for her. She was even able to have her friend Bella over to play!
On 14 April, with just two weeks before their baby was due, Lizzie was discharged and the Kellys went home. Ten days later, almost right on cue, baby Lauren was born weighing 7lbs 7oz, happy and healthy.
Since leaving the House, Lizzie has now been fitted with a prosthesis and is crawling well, even pulling herself up to a standing position. Everyone at Ronald McDonald House Charities wishes Lizzie the speediest of recoveries and sends all the best to the Kelly family, and their new addition.