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Halesworth & Southwold Community News March 2019 5 My Family and the Sick Children’s Trust Beth looking cheeky and happy!


UNTIL recently I took life for granted. Bad things never happened to us, we were all in good health and thankfully lived a comfortable life. A friend lost her son last year to Meningitis B. He was my son Ollie’s best friend. I supported her as best I could although life was hectic with 3 businesses to run. I felt so much sadness for the family that they have gone through such a terrible experience. I never for a moment expected anything to happen to us, like I said bad things don’t happen to our family. However, on March 23rd last year our daughter fell ill. She has Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. This means her nasal passages are narrow, so whenever she gets a cold she struggles. That day she had a temperature and just didn’t seem herself. My husband took her to be checked over at A&E as it was a Saturday. They thought she had a virus and sent us home. By 7pm that night she wasn’t keeping any milk down and her temperature remained high. I said we needed to take her back, I was not happy with her. I packed an overnight bag and decided I was going to stay overnight to have her monitored. Thankfully they


agreed. Things didn’t


improve on the Sunday. They put a canula in for fluids and she slept on and off all day. That night around 9pm her temperature spiked and I began to be concerned. The staff assured me she was in the best place and to get some rest. I slept until 11pm, when I was woken with Beth grunting and moaning. When I pulled back her blanket there was a


purple mark on her leg. I called the nurse in a state of


panic, instantly remembering the signs my friend had told me to look out for after losing her son. The doctor started her on antibiotics within 10 minutes, into the already attached canula.


I could tell they were concerned but they remained calm. I called my husband who came after getting someone to watch Ollie. By the time he arrived the rash was spreading and I could see she was in great danger. In my heart I knew what she had. The doctors did everything


they could to stabilise her, but they couldn’t bring her blood pressure up and they filled her with fluids as the Sepsis took hold. At this point we were told that it was likely we would lose our little girl. Waiting for the CATS (Children’s Acute Transport Service) team to arrive felt like forever. They spent 4 hours stabilising her on their equipment to move her to PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Addenbrooke’s, including putting a line directly into her bone as her veins were collapsing and the sepsis was slowly taking over her body. Once we arrived at Addenbrooke’s we were shown to a small family room. It was full of families with children


in PICU. Hearing their stories made everything seem that much more real. They spent 3 hours getting her onto the bed and connected. When we were finally able to go in, I wasn’t expecting to see so many people and wires surrounding my daughter. That day was the hardest of my life, feeling so helpless watching your child fight for their life and you cannot do anything to help. Sarah the nurse in charge came and explained that there was a haven called Acorn House which gives families accommodation when their children are in PICU. Where we were going to stay had not even crossed my mind, but now we didn’t have to worry. We were taken over and


shown where it was and given a key to a large bedroom. We were greeted by friendly staff and saw families playing games and cooking.


ventilator for 20 days, went through dialysis due to kidney failure, a collapsed lung and extremely high blood pressure as she fought meningitis B with every ounce of strength she had. Beth was just 8 months old.


Acorn House became our home and Ollie came to stay often. I cooked dinner and played with my son. I honestly felt that we wouldn’t have got through this experience without the sanctuary that was Acorn house.


After 4 long weeks we were transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich to be closer to home. Beth make a steady recovery, but sadly developed epilepsy from a brain bleed, and has started early puberty (this is controlled by monthly hormone suppressant injections). We stayed in hospital


for That


night my husband and I went over to Acorn House to sleep (after the nurse had kicked us out and insisted we needed some rest)! It was so hard leaving Beth


as she was so poorly, but I understood that we needed to sleep. Acorn House was amazing and we both slept for 7 hours, waking only to check on Beth via the directly linked phone to PICU, where the nurses could give us any updates and to reassure us regarding her


wellbeing.


We then returned to our daughters bedside early the next morning. This became our daily routine.


Beth remained on a a further four


weeks, before finally being allowed home. This day was truly magical and something we never thought would happen. We had several hospital stays over the next three months while we got her epilepsy under control. Beth has now been seizure free for over three months and everyday makes progress. For a child to go through what she has and hopefully come away with just a few scars and epilepsy from her brain bleed, makes us feel we have been very lucky. We want to thank everyone who has supported us along the way through this journey. Acorn House gave us that hope and little bit of normality


to get us through the toughest period of our lives. That’s why I want to give something back to the Sick Children’s Trust.


I used to


run before I had children and was something I enjoyed; However, I only ran shorter distances, the biggest being a 10K run (many years ago). To train and run the London Marathon is the biggest physical challenge of my life. Beth and my family have given me the strength to do it! I want to raise as much money as I can to say thank you for everything the Sick Children’s Charity did for us as a family. It would be lovely if you could make a donation to help me reach my £7000 target, to help continue the wonderful work they do at Acorn House. To donate please go to www.


uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for 'Rebecca Jones' London 2019 Marathon.


The Pear Tree Fund Newsletter (Formerly known as the Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund)


THE building site for our new Pear Tree Centre is a hub of activity, which is so exciting after last year’s frustrating wait! The Trustees are very


active, adding to our new smart website, www. peartreefund.org finalising the design of our new leaflets and generally preparing the way for the services the Centre will provide. Part of that preparation is the recruitment of more volunteers.


Becky and her marathon training sister Holly


In partnership with the Halesworth Volunteer Centre the Pear Tree Centre is holding an open day on Wednesday 3rd April 11.30am until 6.30pm for anyone who is interested in volunteering or who would like to find out more about what is on offer. The HVC has a wealth of experience in supporting and training volunteers and between us we will be able to offer a wide choice of opportunities. We are looking for anything between face to face, meet and greet, at the Centre to car drivers and isolation busting in the community, as well as practical skills such as IT, gardening, DIY and retail experience in our charity shop. If you have a talent we can use it! That talent might be a good listener or someone who prefers to be a back room body. You will see our adverts around town and in this Community News edition. Our fundraising activities


also continue; we are holding a ”Ladies Lunch” at the Wentworth Hotel in Aldeburgh on Wednesday


St Peter’s Church, Wenhaston


Becky's husband Steve and son Ollie


SIBTON COUNTRY SUPPLIES Ltd. The Forge, Sibton. IP17 2JH Tel: 01728 660 349 First two weeks in March


SPRING SALE of GARDEN MACHINERY Mowers, Strimmers, Chainsaws, Hedge Cutters, Log Splitters and Ex-demonstrators all at special sale prices. Also available:


Composts, fertilizers, vegetable seeds and sundries. Wild bird food, dog food and much much more !


Battery rechargeable machinery specialist A full range of 24,48,80 volt machines available.


Commercial work welcome • Suedes, Leathers, Sheepskins Horse rugs cleaned ad re-proofed


• Same day service washes and duvet cleaning • Dry cleaning and specialist cleaning Dry cleaning and specialist cleaning • Professional wedding dress service • Professional wedding dress service • Commercial work welcome • Suedes, Leathers, Sheepskins Horse rugs cleaned ad re-proofed


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Same day service washes and duvet cleaning • Full linen service Full linen service


LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING SERVICES Est 1977


CLEAN ‘n’ DRY CLEAN ‘n’ DRY


GRAND Jumble Sale on Saturday 16th March, at the Village Hall at 2pm. Cakes, raffle, refreshments, books, toys, bric-a-brac, tombola, jumble, good as new. In aid of Church funds


D & P Appliance


We repair all makes and models from Hotpoint, Bosch, Neff, Hoover & Indesit and many more. * Washing Machines


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17th April 12pm for 1pm, tickets £25 are available for a 2 course lunch through Vigdis Middleditch at middleditchv@gmail.com or the Trustees Jane Edwards - jane.edwards@peartreefund. com and Barbara Kell - Barbara.kell@peartreefund. com. First come first served as there will be limited places. There will be a £5 per person draw with the winning table taking a percentage of the proceeds! We will update you on the progress of the Centre and have a lovely meal in delightful surroundings.


The trustees are delighted that the Pear Tree Fund has been chosen by the Queens Head at Bramfield as its charity of the year.


The fundraising will start


off with a special frangipane and pear tart, inspired by the charities name, being added to the menu, with all profits going to the charity. Kate and Kevin Woods of the Bramfield Queen are keen to be involved with a local charity with such a good cause and have some lovely ideas to promote the Pear Tree Fund. In April they will run a charity fizz and fashion show with some lovely prizes and a grand raffle. Watch this space for more news of their events We have had donations


from Dr Megan Kell and Sue Foster and the 50/50/ club winners for December are: - Mr Terry Stitchbury, Mrs Jackie Richardson and Mrs Barbara Taylor and in February Mr Ray Roy and Rosemary Thomas.


Serving the elderly in the local community


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4lb Flavoured Chicken 4lb Sausages 10 Beef Burgers


WINTER WARMER PACK 1 4lb Flavoured Ribs


SPRING LAMB 4lb Flavoured Ribs


4lb Flavoured Chicken 4lb Sausages


5 Pork and Apple Burgers 5 Pork and Apple Burgers


2 x 1kg shoulder of pork •2 x 1kg shoulder of lamb 2 x 1kg top rib slow roast £37.99


Small Barbecue Packs £9.99


WINTER WARMER PACK 2 Slow roast joint pack


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