A Hartford couple have spoken about the “whirlwind” of emotions they experienced after discovering their baby daughter was seriously ill.
Sophie Wright and Daniel Lackey were supported by the Sick Children’s Trust, which provides accommodation for parents who have a child in hospital, after Daisy-Mae became ill in February. They have said the support they received was “invaluable”.
Daisy-Mae was diagnosed with a suspected chest infection which became life-threatening when she developed severe pneumonia, bronchitis and rhinovirus.
After exhausting all their resources, Hinchingbrooke Hospital transferred Daisy-Mae to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where she remained for three weeks undergoing intense treatment to remove mucus from her lungs.
Sophie said: “After five days at Hinchingbrooke, Daisy-Mae started to slip away from us and was sent to Cambridge. In the centre of this whirlwind, we were told about Acorn House which is run by The Sick Children’s Trust.
“Daisy-Mae was in a coma for three weeks and every day felt incredibly long. Acorn House broke up these long days as it was a place to sleep, make food, build our strength and somewhere our son, Oscar, could come and stay so we weren’t apart from him.”
“Daisy-Mae tested positive for RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and was given intravenous antibiotics while paralysed in order to give her body a chance to fight the illness.
“She also underwent regular physiotherapy to help bring up all the sticky horrible mucus that was on her lungs.
“This mucus was blocking and plugging the entry to her left lung which eventually caused it to collapse.
“Acorn House was a godsend during this time as I was so worried about Daisy-Mae that I needed to speak to someone who understood.”
“I remember arriving having had no sleep and feeling scared. Everything was so daunting but there was a lady staying there, whose daughter was on the ward, who was so welcoming. She offered to support me whenever I needed it, all I had to do was knock on her door for a chat. While the nurses and doctors are fantastic, speaking to a parent going through a similar situation really helped me and Daniel.”
On February 23, there was more bad news for the family when Daisy-Mae’s left lung blocked again which meant air wasn’t entering and this time she faced a three-hour fight for her life. It happened again later that night and this time it took five hours to stabilise.
“She needed more help. Addenbrooke’s had tried all they could and exhausted all their resources to help fight the virus and keep Daisy-Mae stable,” explained Sophie.
“Daisy-Mae was put on a ventilator and recovered from her collapsed lung.
“By the end of February, she was well enough to be transferred back locally where she was for a week before we were allowed to bring her home.
“Three days after, history repeated itself but thankfully Daisy-Mae only needed another five days in hospital.
“My whole world came crashing down when I thought Daisy-Mae wouldn’t make it. I wanted to just wake up from a bad dream that was snowballing out of control.
“Despite having severe pneumonia, bronchitis and the rhinovirus Daisy-Mae has made a full recovery and you wouldn’t know that her life was in the balance.
As we move on from this chapter, we will never forget the amazing medical teams that have helped us along with The Sick Children’s Trust which allowed us to focus all our energy on our daughter.”
Jane Featherstone, chief executive at The Sick Children’s Trust, said: “Our ‘Homes from Home’ help ease some of the concerns families experience when their child is in hospital by giving them a place to stay.
“It is a worrying and uncertain time for everyone and there are many challenges we are all facing but for families with seriously ill child in hospital there is even more worry and uncertainty.
“This is why we need your support.”
To donate to The Sick Children’s Trust, visit: sickchildrenstrust.org/donate.