This year our Christmas Campaign is #AlbiesChristmasQuest
Our Christmas quest for 2017 highlights the importance of our Child and Family Support Coordinators year-round but particularly over the festive period. Without vital funds we would not be able to continue supporting families like Daniel’s.
For many people, Christmas is a wonderful time of year when we get to spend quality time with our loved ones. As New Year approaches, we reflect on the highs and lows of the past year and look forward to the possibilities that the year may bring. However, for hundreds of families across the UK, this will be the first Christmas since brain injury devastated family life. Many will be grateful that their child has survived and will be faced with anxiousness and fear over the uncertainties that this new future holds.
The Child Brain Injury Trust supports families through the darkest of days whilst children are being treated for their injuries in hospital and we plan for their return to home and school.
This Christmas, we need your help more than ever before. We know that everyone’s finances are under strain and that Christmas is a difficult time for many. However, all we ask is that you consider making a small donation, whatever you can afford to help us to create a brighter future for children. Children just like Daniel….
When a child is in pain, everyone around them hurts.
Daniel, aged six, was out in the garden at home playing on a bouncy castle. It was a normal day for the family. Daniel’s dad, Bernie called him in for his dinner.
Then, when Daniel came in he dropped to the floor. Jenny, Daniel’s mum said:
“When he came in, it was just a split second and then he collapsed. Then it was that scream. That horrible scream. I was saying if you can hear me squeeze my hand. Just keep squeezing my hand. Squeeze it; all the time. That’s when we got the ambulance.”
When the family got to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Daniel was rushed in. There were doctors everywhere. Jenny and Bernie were told that Daniel’s condition was really serious.
Daniel had suffered a major bleed on the brain. He then suffered two more bleeds over five days.
Daniel’s sister said “at the beginning he was just really still. You couldn’t tell it was my brother”.
Daniel was in Hospital for seven months. In this time, he had over 12 operations. He had to learn to walk and talk all over again. Daniel’s older sister, Beth (aged 11) stayed with her grandparents so she could continue going to school.
Thankfully the Child Brain Injury Trust was there to help make sense of it all.
Hospital staff introduced Jenny and Bernie to the charity’s Child and family Support Co-ordinator for the North West:
“When you go into an acute hospital setting, it is very isolating. It is very disorientating. Being able to support families from those very early days and beyond is incredible.”
The charity supported the family in many ways from liaising with mum and dad’s employers to applying for welfare benefits to help look after Daniel. Later the charity helped Jenny and Bernie pursue the support Daniel needs in school. Whenever the family needed a home visit the charity would respond. We were there.
Jenny and Bernie describe the charity’s support “as if they wave a magic wand and everything is demystified. Everything becomes clear.” “You can speak to them on your level. They know what you’re going through. If we didn’t understand what the doctors were talking about we’d ask the Child Brain Injury Trust!”
Now, Daniel is so much better but cannot swallow so is fed through a tube in his stomach. He needs help with everyday tasks. Because of this, Bernie has had to give up working to care for him. Beth also helps.
Daniel may well face more difficulties as he grows. We will continue to be there for the whole family as long as they need us.
So, this Christmas, please make a donation to support the Child Brain Injury Trust. It costs over £1 million a year to provide our services and we simply cannot do this without you!
Whether it’s an office Christmas Jumper Day, Christmas cake sale, carol singing or a straight forward donation – every penny that is raised this Christmas will allow us to support children, just like Daniel. When you pledge your support, please get in touch and we will make sure that you are sent our exclusive electronic Christmas card to share with your family and friends to let them know the amazing difference you have made.
We are also running some other activities leading up to Christmas, including “Albie on a Shelf” this will start on 1st December, as an Advent activity. Albie will be photographed doing naughty things and posted on social media every day for the Advent period. We will be posting a personal Christmas video every Monday starting 20th November produced by six of our Child and Family Support Coordinators, highlighting the importance of their work during the Christmas period. So, keep an eye on our social media platforms!
This year we have created an interactive HTML e-card. We are offering this e-card in return for a donation to our Christmas Campaign. If you would like to receive our e-card to use over the festive period, please make a donation to our Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/cbit/albieschristmasquest
If you would like to receive our e-card please make sure your donation is not anonymous, so we can email you back.
Thank you so much and we wish you the very best for the festive season.
The Child Brain Injury Trust team