Being told that your child has a serious illness, disability or life threatening injury is devastating news for any parent and they go through a range of emotions. At first sheer disbelief, some go into denial and cannot accept it. Most are angry and want to blame someone. They are frightened, upset and feel out of control and entirely dependent on their child’s doctors. The hospital staff (Play Team, Staff Nurses and Doctors) refer parents to Amanda. Each adult has an hour of her time away from the ward while the Play Team or support workers look after their child. This allows them time out to be themselves, release their emotions, talk and be listened to and be looked after in the privacy of the comfortable Rainbow therapy room. Many have never had an aromatherapy massage and Amanda takes a comprehensive medical history before blending the essential oils to suit the individual’s needs. Together with a relaxing massage the gentle therapeutic properties of the essential oils calms, uplifts and rejuvenates, improving physical and psychological well-being. Amanda also gives a light Indian Head Massage to relieve tension headaches together with pressure points to the face relieving stress so the parent As a parent you want to protect your child but they can’t and feel desperate, at a loss and often isolated. A child’s stay in hospital affects the whole family; where siblings are involved they feel they have lost their mother, one parent often has to give up work and many lose their jobs due to taking too much time off work which results in financial hardship and only too often puts marriages at risk due to the intense emotional pressure.
To see any child deteriorate and suffer is heart breaking for any parent and it is distressing for them to watch the pain, suffering and surgical procedures their child has to endure while in hospital. The length of stay in hospital can vary with some over 18 months, but if a child has a disability their hospital stays can be frequent and ongoing. Many parents say they simply cannot sink any lower and the ‘time out’ given to them by Rosie’s Rainbow Fund sheds a little light in their darkest days.
Words from the parents:
“It’s a tough slog but this has given me a place to go and someone to listen to me at a time when I felt low. Hospital can be a bleak and lonely place. You can’t go home and escape. You can feel overwhelmed, not only by your child’s illness but by the time spent on the wards. Friends and family can’t always be there in person, and you can’t use a mobile phone on the ward but you are there to provide a hug and comforting words. You can go to her for a wonderful aromatherapy massage. It doesn’t take away what’s happening but it gives you a moment of peace some time away to strengthen your mental resolve.
"This means parents can face the battle with a clearer head. There’s someone who’s not a doctor or nurse to talk to. It doesn’t smell like the rest of the hospital. It brings a moment of calm amid the chaos.”
"I met Amanda when my son was in intensive care for the first time 3 years ago. I was asked if I wanted an aromatherapy massage and my head, neck and shoulder were so tight and painful due to the immense stress that I thought, yes I need this! Little did I know that this was to become far more than a massage. It totally relaxed me and gave me my first nights sleep in days. Amanda was someone I could talk to and she listened and she was so calming. As a dad of a child with a disability, I speak to very few people about my feelings and worries as I need to be strong for the family.
Since that day, my son has had 8 further intensive care admissions. Amanda has been there to relax and relieve my pain physically through massage. Her expert knowledge of essential oils and their benefits help to calm my state of mind and she always takes the time to listen when I need it. The role Amanda plays in Rosie’s Rainbow is un-quantifiable and only starts with a massage."