Theo is 11 years old and has a rare chromosome abnormality, epilepsy, autism and development delay, which means he has the mental capacity of a two-year-old. For the last eight years he’s been physically healthy, so it was a huge shock to Theo’s family when he became critically unwell six weeks ago.
After an emergency lifesaving operation at Basildon Hospital to remove his large bowel, followed by 19 days in intensive care at St Mary’s Hospital in London Theo was transferred back to Basildon Hospital to be cared for nearer to home.
As the Coronavirus hit, Basildon Hospital felt it safer for Theo and mum Verity to be transferred Little Havens. Theo was the first child we cared for from a local hospital as Little Havens opened its doors to care for children from acute wards supporting the NHS to save lives during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Verity Theo’s Mum said “I had no idea what to expect and felt so anxious. But then we arrived at Little Havens and I felt instantly ‘at home.’ Everyone we met was kind, friendly and reassuring. I quickly felt calm in what had become the biggest storm we have had to face as a family.
“Theo’s new care needs included a stoma bag, injections for blood thinners, various medication and NG tube feeding. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to ever do these things myself. I was sure I would never be up to the job. It felt so daunting and I worried I wouldn’t be able to cope.
“But here I am now, signed off as competent to do all of Theo’s care and I have no anxiety around it all- and that is all thanks to the staff at Little Havens.
“They all showed so much patience, reassurance and the nurses gave so much of their time to ensure I could learn everything and leave feeling confident to care for Theo.
“Little Havens is such a beautiful place, I can only imagine how amazing it is when it’s filled with families. There is so much love and laughter there. The gardens are absolutely incredible. Theo and I spent a lot of time walking around the garden and enjoying its peace and tranquillity.
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Published in 2020
Verity, Theo's Mum
“I had no idea what to expect and felt so anxious. But then we arrived at Little Havens and I felt instantly ‘at home.'”