One of the wonderful parts of working in a community broker is how lives become intertwined. Its hard to believe that when Matthew first brought Henry into the office to meet the team, a tiny bundle in blankets and baby carriers, he would grow-up to become the inquisitive and happy young boy we know today.
However, Henry’s journey has not been without struggle. After raising concerns about Henry’s health, Matthew and Henry have had to endure countless trips to the Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI Newcastle, and Henry has undergone multiple operations.
Despite all that Henry has been through, he has always kept a smile on his face and looked to find the joy in it all. The bravery and resilience that Henry has shown inspired his dad, Matthew, to put his resilience to the test and take on the Coast to Coast in aid of two charities that supported the family through their journey.
The Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI Newcastle are an amazing team of surgeons, nurses, support staff and clerical staff. They provided amazing care and support for Henry and the family and we are so grateful for them and all that they have done.
We spent most of our time in Ward 9 and every single member of staff, from consultants and registrars to nurses and cleaners, could not do enough for us. All the nurses we saw, day or night, were always smiling and happy. We were made to feel welcome; Henry could turn his room into a home from home by bringing toys, blankets and teddies and nothing was ever too much trouble.
MediCinema is a state-of-the-art cinema in the hospital. It was an important part of Henry’s recovery process, even though he was so unwell it allowed us time together as a family and took Henry’s mind off being poorly. On his first visit to the MediCinema he watched Angry Birds from the comfort of his hospital bed, on the second visit he enjoyed Spies in Disguise with his brother Arlo and on his third visit he was specially chosen to watch his favourite film of all time, Trolls!
The MediCinema is funded entirely by donations and the movie screenings are run by volunteers. There are several rows of seats for patients and their families to sit but more importantly, there is space at the front for hospital beds. The first time Henry went to the MediCinema, he was too poorly to walk and was attached to different machines. The nurses on the ward secured all his lines and machines to his bed and the MediCinema staff wheeled him down to the cinema. A nurse was in the cinema for the whole movie so if Henry or anyone else needed any extra medication, they did not have to wait until they were back on their ward. The MediCinema really cheered him up and just getting off the ward and having a change of scenery made such a huge difference to his mood and ours.
When Lockdown was first announced I challenged myself with improving my overall health and fitness. Ordinarily I ride my bike to work but home working put a stop to that, and I wanted to keep up regular exercise in my routine. In September last year I did my first long distance bike ride of 80 miles around the North East in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance. I was fortunate enough to meet an amazing group of biking enthusiasts, they have encouraged me to push myself on my fitness journey. After Henry’s latest operation I made the decision to set myself a real challenge and raise money at the same time. I could have chosen to ride across the Alps or Pyrenees, and it wouldn’t have been half as bad as what Henry has been through over the last 18 months, but the Coast to Coast seemed like a great option for my first challenge.
I have set up a Just Giving Page, I would like to support both charities equally if possible, but any donation would be welcomed and gratefully received.