A little about us: My son was born in 2015, extremely prematurely at 24 weeks, (4 months early), weighing 590 grams (1lb 1oz). He spent many months in hospital and underwent various operations including a PDA. It was the most daunting yet exciting experience ever. That was without COVID-19.
His first Christmas looked like we were going to spend it in hospital, he was extremely poorly with RSV and was touch and go for a long time.
Our Christmas normal family dinner didn't matter, gifts didn't matter, nothing was more important than getting the boy home at some point in the near future.
We didn't shop for presents, we just stayed positive and hoped the rest would fall into place. Thankfully it did. Two days before Christmas 2015 he was discharged from St Thomas'. On came the mad two day rush of buying gifts for family and friends and of course little man, oh and going to empty shops to try and feed an army of people who wanted to spend time on his first ever Christmas, casually inviting themselves round, that's family hey!
It could have been so different. There was a massive amount of guilt for those families that we had become so close to in hospital, that we knew were not going to be able to celebrate with their bubbas at home. Gut wrenching to say the least.
Hence the following Christmas, we started #croconilefanclubchristmasappeal
The donations started and it wasn't so overwhelming. We received boxed gifts and donations from complete strangers. Christmas Eve 2016, we went to 3 different hospitals. St Thomas', King's College and Lewisham. Bearing in mind we only initially thought we would get enough for Tommies.
We delivered an abundance of gifts to parents in NICU, HDU & SCBU in there different hospitals, it was amazing and I can't tell you how grateful those parents were.
I want to explain about what we have all been through this year with COVID but, I just can't find the words. Unfortunately we lost both my Nan and Grandad within a week of each other in March and April. This year has been cruel.
I can't even begin to put myself in parent's shoes who were not even able to see their child at the beginning of the Pandemic. Just awful.
Lil man was classed as extremely vulnerable, due to ongoing medical conditions, and didn't leave the front door for 5 months. We did pretty well considering he's now 5 and bouncing off every single wall, literally!
So it's taken me a while but we really appreciate you taking the time to read so far! n So here's what we are asking for:
Can you make a donation so we can give back to parents who will be spending Christmas in hospital this year with their bubbas? Whether it be a cash donation, or a gift that you can send to us?
Currently Tommies now have 43 NICU beds, more in HDU and SCBU, but if we can totally rock the target it means we can deliver to other hospitals.
I can tell you now after the year we have all had, it will be so appreciated by a complete stranger. Let's do this!
Thank you x