When the time came for my wife and I to write our wills, we were asked whether we would wish to include a charity legacy and we knew immediately who we would want to support. We have not one but two reasons to owe the doctors and staff at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital an enormous debt of gratitude and it felt only right that we should give something back to the hospital for all they have done for those we love.
After a very difficult labour, my baby daughter was born by emergency c-section and was immediately taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She appeared to be doing well and after ten days we were finally able to take her home. No sooner had we arrived, however, than the district midwife knocked on the door. She told us that the results of the heel prick test that had been performed on our daughter at birth had shown that she had been born without a thyroid gland and that we must return immediately to the hospital.
If it takes longer than 14 days after a child is born to identify a major thyroid problem then it is very likely that they will suffer from significant mental retardation and growth failure. We are thankful every day that those test results came through in time to give our little girl a very different future.
From the moment we arrived back in hospital she received nothing but the most incredible level of care. Her consultant, Dr Banerjee, knew exactly what to do to treat the immediate problem and, as her consultant throughout the intervening eight years, he and the incredible team of doctors and nurses around him have given us nothing but care, compassion and the absolute confidence that they could and would do the right thing for our girl. She is now a bright, beautiful and lively eight year old and we don’t have the words to express how grateful we are for that.
As if that wasn’t reason enough, we are also deeply thankful for the on-going care that our best friends’ son receives at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on a virtually daily basis. Dylan is 14 and has cystic fibrosis. He spends a huge proportion of his time receiving treatment in the hospital, with his parents able to stay at his bedside every night.
For both my family and for Dylan’s, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital is a place of life and hope and the very best care. The Charity works tirelessly to make the hospital even better than it already is, providing funds for the latest equipment and research into childhood illnesses whilst also enhancing the look and feel of the hospital by making it more child-friendly and less clinical. We are endlessly grateful for the care and treatment both our daughter and Dylan continue to receive there and we are very happy to leave this legacy to continue to support the amazing work they do.