A few moments from a typical day for our FLOs…
I had a call late on a rainy Sunday night from a family who tube feed their child and blend the food in a Vitamix as it’s the smoothest way of ensuring it doesn’t block the tube. The machine had broken and they were desperate to get the feed done. I contacted a couple of families who I thought had a Vitamix. Located one and the family were willing to lend it for 24 hours. I collected it (in my tracksuit!!) and took it to the family. They insisted I came in to see them blend the feed. They were very happy and the other family felt they had been able to help
One of the children we support was rushed to hospital by ambulance. Mum jumped in the ambulance with no coat, just her bag. She messaged me late that evening to let me know. Her husband was away on business and she was alone so I said I insisted on coming. She said she was cold so I said I would bring her a jacket. It took about an hour to find her once I arrived at the hospital, but I sat with her and waited till her child was settled with his carer and then I took her home and saw her into her house.
One of the families I look after had their middle child, who was four at the time, in hospital recovering from heart surgery, her second one since her diagnosis a year before. Mum had been staying at hospital with her little girl and the two other children were at home with dad, with family members and Camp Simcha helping out.
“In advance of Pesach, I arranged for their shopping and cleaning to be done and one of our art therapists, who comes in weekly for the children, did Pesach arts and crafts with the two siblings. Their Camp Simcha volunteer Big Sister spent extra time with the children because they always feel more anxious when their mum is staying at the hospital. They had a lovely time baking with her just like they normally do with their mum.
“On first night, we arranged for the family to have a small and low-key Seder in hospital. Obviously, it wasn’t the same as the one they have at home, but the family were together and that was what was important.
“It may seem from the outside like these things wouldn’t matter when your child is seriously ill, but it really made a difference to this family. Their world was turned upside down when their little girl’s heart condition was diagnosed; I see time and time again in my role just how much the little things – as well as all the practical support – count towards a family’s emotional wellbeing at such a difficult time.”