Jack tells us about his daughter, Mila
‘Mila went into the emergency department on the 10th of December 2022 generally unwell. We stayed in Barnstaple hospital for three days in intensive care being treated for diabetes. Mila was then transferred to Bristol Children’s hospital until the 16th of January. In this time we did not leave her side. Care For Kids contacted us and were able to assist us with living payments. This went towards accommodation and food while we were in Bristol. After getting home to Barnstaple, Care For Kids got in touch again and were able to assist while we were adapting our home lives. This allowed us a phased return to work. Mila’s diagnoses included Neonatal Diabetes, Dystonia and Spastic Cerebral Palsy.
We will be forever grateful for the help you managed to provide for us and will continue to support your charity moving forwards.’
One of our supporters on why she ran the London Marathon 2023
Becky says, ‘Care For Kids has been part of our lives for over 9 years now. From the moment Immy was diagnosed in February 2014, they have been there for us to help out with the financial burden of being away, with a sick child, in a hospital far from home. They have helped out with subsequent, unexpected trips and stays on Bristol Children’s Hospital since then, and we will always be so grateful to the whole team for their support’.
A families feedback after using the newly refurbished cubicle 5
“Thank you so very much ‘Care for kids’ for the beautiful makeover of room 5 you funded on Caroline Thorpe.
Lily & I are so impressed, it is so cheerful & the beautiful Becky Bettersworth pictures are gorgeous.
USB chargers & Netflix too, what a treat, not to mention the glittery new bathroom. It is a lovely environment to stay in less medical than usual .. 5* 10/10 rating from us
Love from x”
A heart warming message from a parent who was explaining why she ran the Care for Kids Banstaple 10k June 2017!
“This evening I embraced the elements. I put on my rather fetching black Pac a mac and hit the wind and the rain! No sooner had I ran to the end of the road and my hair was sopping wet, my feet were squelching in my trainers and the rain was pouring down my face! 1km in, I realise my phone isn’t even tracking my run! It would have been easy to turn around and call it a night.
But I didn’t.
Because I Care for kids North Devon. I care for each and every child facing a new diagnosis, another hospital admission, another journey for treatment, another operation, a further test, more procedures, more pain.
I care for every mother, sat next to her child’s bed side, willing to swap places. Scared to leave even to go to the loo in case something bad happens, or their child wakes up and needs them.
I care for every father having to work as normal, when really he wishes he could be at the hospital to support his partner, to comfort and protect his child. He sits wondering how he is going to afford the petrol for the long drive to visit his child in hospital, and whether he can book another Travelodge on the credit card. He worries about taking unpaid time off, when his annual leave has been gobbled up. But he keeps the family going.
I care for every sibling, caught up in the middle of it all. Separated from one or both parents, apart from their sibling, getting on as best as they can when all they want is for everything to be back to normal, for everyone to be back home.
I’ve watched a child go through the unimaginable. I’ve seen a husband work all hours to be able to make another trip to visit his sick child possible. I’ve held back my own emotions as tears have fallen down a siblings cheek as they wave goodbye for another week without their Mummy and brother.
If I can make a difference to just one family, by running the Care for Kids Barnstaple 10k Run in a little over a months time then I will feel like I’ve accomplished something incredible. Knowing just what a difference this charity can make, makes me all the more determined to do so.
But I can’t do it on my own, I can’t do it without your donations.
It doesn’t have to be much. £2 could buy a box of teabags and a pint of milk for the parents kitchen on Caroline Thorpe Ward, which could make a huge difference to a Mum whose unexpectedly had to stay in hospital and has nothing but the clothes she is standing up in. £5 and you could add a loaf of bread, some butter and jam to that, forcing that mother to look after herself as her wellbeing is vital to her child.
£10 could help towards the cost of petrol taking a sick to child to medical appointments.
You get the idea, every little donation adds up to make a big difference to a family whose world has been turned upside down. Thinking of all the children and their families is what keeps me running. My own two children being my biggest inspiration. This is for every baby like Heidi, suddenly taken seriously ill and needing to be put on life support and blue lighted to a specialist hospital, almost loosing their life on the hard shoulder on the way. This is for every Noah spending frequent amounts of time in hospital due to complex conditions, travelling for appointments, procedures, life saving operations and recurrent scans due to a life threatening condition and life long disability. This is for every child, whether it be one experiencing an overnight stay due to having their tonsils out or whether they are undergoing rounds of chemotherapy. It is for them all.
I’m not running because I am good at it, or because I love it (although it is growing on me!). I am running because I want to make a difference to someone’s life. I want to help Care for kids relieve the everyday stresses and financial worries of a family living life with a sick, terminally ill or life limited child”.
We enhance the Caroline Thorpe children’s Ward
“Caroline Thorpe Ward is fantastic! The playroom has always been used by my son. Great space for when you have a 2 year old that can’t stay in bed all day and all night. Parent room is great too! We always used this space and when my son was in SCBU it was good to have space for lunch and many coffees” April 2017
“Amazing place, spent many nights in there and me and my daughter were regular in the amazing ward” April 2017
“NDDH has by far the most extraordinary Playroom in any hospital I’ve seen” Patient age 17 (February 2016)
“Thank you for the support when our daughter was admitted to Bristol, your help made a difficult time that bit easier allowing us to focus on each other” Parent (February 2016)
“Thank you so much my little girls Christmas will be so special and that is thanks to you she spent most of this year in hospital. Thank you from me and my children” Family in Chulmleigh (January 2016)
Following our eldest son’s unexpected admission to Barnstaple Hospital over Christmas my wife and I just wanted to write to say how delighted we were to see the children’s ward equipped with so many toys and other fun resources including the flat screen tv and wii system. It made Joshua’s 4 night stay much more bearable!
Also, we were delighted with the special festive snack trolley your charity provided over Christmas and were very touched to learn you had funded meals for parents on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
I attach below for your information a copy of an email we have sent to Jac Kelly at NDHT regarding Joshua’s stay in hospital. We were so impressed with every aspect of the hospitals’s care and professionalism.
Keep up the good work of Care for Kids – we are one set of parents who really valued it!
Charlie & Naomi” (January 2016)
“For my family although we were supported by other wonderful Charities Care For Kids made the biggest impact – their generous family grant at the start of our 6+ weeks away from home meant we didn’t have to worry about something so trivial! Microwave meals, travel, clothes & laundry after that unexpected ambulance journey, costs soon mounts to hundreds of £’s they also provide the luxury items on OUR local children’s ward that entertain our poorly children & their siblings – we are so lucky to have a local charity to do this.”
Justeen Easton (May 2015)