‘We had the scariest time after Jude’s birth – now we’re repaying the kind people who helped’

A Scunthorpe mum who experienced one of the “scariest things you can imagine” as her baby suffered seizures just days after birth is now taking on a half marathon to thank the charity that stepped in to help.

Olivia Cooke will take part in the Great North Run to repay the kindness of the Sick Children’s Trust, which gives parents somewhere to stay while their children are receiving urgent hospital care. Her son Jude was born with an extremely low blood sugar level and after suffering multiple seizures over a period of 12 hours, he was rushed from Scunthorpe to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Olivia said: “Seeing your new-born baby sedated in an incubator, especially when you’re not used to the hospital environment, is one of the scariest things you can imagine. It is a feeling that I would not wish on any parent.”

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She added: “Jude ended up being in Sheffield for four weeks, eventually being diagnosed with transient hyperinsulinism, meaning he was experiencing spikes in the insulin levels in his blood. The doctors would only allow him to go home once his blood sugar stayed stable through a six-hour fast, which thankfully it did. It was such a relief to get him back to home.”

Jude recovered and two years on he is loving life. During his stay in hospital, Olivia and dad Tim were grateful to the Sick Children’s Trust for providing a “home from home” at Magnolia House, a facility close to the hospital which offers rooms for families to stay in.

Olivia Cooke relied on the Sick Children’s Trust, while caring for baby Jude in hospital.

Olivia said: “On Jude’s first night in Sheffield Children’s Hospital, we managed a grab a little bit of rest on the settees in the parents’ room, fully expecting to start looking for hotels in the morning. That was a worry for us, especially with us having no idea how long Jude would be in Sheffield.

“However, the nurses on the neonatal surgical unit told us about Magnolia House, a ‘home from home’ run by The Sick Children’s Trust. It was literally next door, and we were so relieved to be given a place to stay there.

“Suddenly we didn’t have to think about driving between Scunthorpe and Sheffield or paying lots of money for a hotel. It was a massive weight off our shoulders, keeping us together with Jude pretty much all the time, which was so important. We honestly don’t know what we would have done without it.

“It was so great having Magnolia House to rely on. We had our own room with en-suite bathroom, which was massively important for me as someone who had just given birth. Having used the shared parent shower on the ward after a sleeping in parents’ room, having a private one to use made a huge difference.”

To repay their generosity, Olivia will be running in Newcastle on Sunday (September 10). She said: “The Sick Children’s Trust took a huge worry away from us by providing free accommodation throughout Jude’s hospital stay, and we will never be able to thank them enough for that.

“To go some way towards it, Tom completed a marathon last year to and raised a huge amount of money for the charity. Now it is my turn.”

Ann Wyatt, who has been manager of both Magnolia House and its sister ‘home from home’ Treetop House for the past 20 years, said: “I am so pleased that we were able to be there for Olivia and Tom during such a difficult time, being so far away from their home while Jude was receiving treatment.

“The Great North Run is a challenge for anyone, and we are thrilled that Olivia is taking this on for us. The money that she raises will make a massive difference to the families we support, keeping them together while their children are receiving vital care in hospital.

“As a charity we rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to keep our ‘Homes from Home’ up and running, so I want to say a huge thank you to Olivia for raising money on our behalf.”

Support Olivia’s challenge on her Just Giving page. Learn more about the work of the charity on the Sick Children’s Trust website.

Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe

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