Sadie’s home team

One-year-old Sadie is dependent on a ventilator and has a variety of serious health problems.

Thanks to Sophie's devoted parents and the dedicated team at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), the first 12 months of her life have been full of love and fun.

Watershed moment

Sadie was born with a hole in her heart and a floppy trachea, along with Pierre Robin sequence – a narrowness in her throat, cleft palate and jaw. She was also born without a spleen.

Sadie spent her first ten months as a GOSH in-patient benefiting from the expertise of the doctors and nurses who cared for her. So it was a scary moment for her mum and dad, Nicola and Carl, when they were told that although Sadie still needed to be on the ventilator, they could take her home.

“The idea of bringing her home and becoming her primary carers was terrifying,” says Nicola.

Sian Craig, Senior Staff Nurse, was involved in Sadie’s hands-on care.

“I cared for Sadie directly on shifts,” she says. “It’s a really big step coming out of hospital and not having nurses there all the time, so we accompany families on a few visits to give them confidence."

Lots of practice

The GOSH team taught Nicola and Carl how to do everything and ensured that Sadie had a staged discharge so that her mum and dad weren’t suddenly left to cope with everything alone.

“We had constant training throughout our stay,” says Nicola. “We had to be signed off as competent to care for a child with a tracheostomy and 24/7 ventilation.

“We began to feel happy, positive and confident that we could manage.”

Elisha Lewis, Respiratory and Transitional Care Discharge Co-ordinator, was part of the support team who helped with Sadie’s discharge.

“I spent lots of time with the family – teaching them tracheostomy and ventilation skills so they could meet Sadie’s needs,” remembers Elisha. “I was there to provide a lot of emotional support, because the journey the family had been through was traumatic.”

“We’ve received so much support care and love from everyone on Miffy Ward,” says Sadie’s mum and dad. “They all know and love Sadie so much – we couldn’t have asked for a nicer team to help us.”

Fun and games

GOSH’S play and music specialists ensured that Sadie was able to play and have fun while she was receiving treatment for her serious medical conditions.

Florence Prince, GOSH Play Specialist, said that Sadie started off being held and having stories read to her along with some messy play.

She says: “As Sadie grew older and stronger, we discovered that she loved splashing in the bath. We would do roleplay with her, where she’d have a doll in the bath and she’d have to wash it with shampoo and a towel.”

Now that Sadie is home she continues to thrive and is still getting lots of treatment and support from the GOSH team.

“We love having Sadie home,” says mum and dad. “She’s a very happy baby who smiles all day long. We know one day she’ll have the tracheostomy removed, learn to talk and be able to lead a normal, happy life.”

Make a difference

There are lots of ways to help children like Sadie – take part in a fundraising event or make a donation below. A better future for seriously ill children starts here.

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