The mum of a girl who at 16 months old weighs as little as a baby half her age is raising money for The Sick Children’s Trust as thanks for supporting her when she was in hospital.
Philippa Rabbitts, 28, from Great Baddow in Chelmsford, is hosting a psychic night with celebrity medium Ronnie Buckingham on 23 November to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust. The charity supported Philippa and her partner, Matthew Cole, 33, with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation when their daughter Bella needed life changing surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, which meant they were only ever moments from her side.
Baby Bella was delivered by caesarean three weeks early and weighed just 4lbs 11 oz. She was tube fed for the first 11 months of her life, but needed emergency surgery earlier this year when she began to lose weight and was vomiting up to ten times each day. At eleven months old and weighing only 11 pounds doctors had to perform emergency surgery on her tiny body and place a tube directly into her intestines through which she could be fed so as to bypass her stomach and ensure she was getting the nutrients she desperately needed. It was at this point that the family were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust. Philippa, an editorial content designer, says:
“Bella is a beautiful little girl who makes us proud every single day. We’re still not sure what Bella’s condition is – her main difficulties are feeding and weight gain and she has to be fed milk directly into her intestines. Doctors believe that she has a genetic or chromosome syndrome, but we might never know.
“Bella has been in and out of hospital all her life, but when she was eleven months old she had to have surgery to fit the tube into her intestines and for this we had to go to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which is a three hour round trip for us. We hadn’t really thought about where we would stay or how long Bella would be in hospital so when we found out about The Sick Children’s Trust and Acorn House it was a huge relief. A hotel for a month would have been very expensive for us and the emotional support we received from Abi and her team was a huge comfort. Not knowing what is wrong with your baby is incredibly stressful because all you want is for the doctors to know how to help her best and it’s all made harder because Bella can’t tell us how she is feeling.
“The Sick Children’s Trust is amazing. We met other families who had children in hospital and talking to them about what Bella was going through and how we were feeling helped us cope when she was very poorly. It is the hardest thing in the world to not know what is wrong with your child and although she is doing a lot better now and has gained four pounds in the last few months, she is still very small and wears clothes for six-nine month old babies.
“Because of her small size and huge head of hair, Bella is very well known locally and everyone thinks she looks like a beautiful baby doll. They can’t believe her hair is her own, but it all is and takes me longer to do each morning than my own. Bella loves having her hair washed and brushed!”
Philippa, who along with her partner, Matt, are regular fundraisers for charity, has organised the psychic night with the hugely popular celebrity spiritualist Ronnie Buckingham to thank The Sick Children’s Trust for its support. She continues:
“We are still making trips to Addenbrooke’s Hospital because Bella has to see the surgical and gastric team on a regular basis, as well as different therapists for speech and movement. We are lucky she has such a fantastic team behind her, but it was when she was so poorly in hospital in June and July that The Sick Children’s Trust came to our aid. They were lifesavers because I don’t think we could’ve thought about leaving her each evening and this way we didn’t have to.”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, giving families with seriously ill children free accommodation just minutes from their child’s hospital bedside. The charity relies entirely on voluntary donations and it costs the charity £30 to support a family for one night. Acorn House Manager, Abi Abdel-aal, says:
“Philippa stayed with us for almost a month and I am so glad we were able to support her and Matt. It is a fantastic idea to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust through ticket sales to a psychic night and I hope they also get some great donations towards the raffle. The money that the evening raises will make such a difference to the charity and will help us to support more families who need a ‘Home from Home’ when their child is seriously ill in hospital.
“We are all thrilled that Bella is putting on weight again and that the operation was a success. Even though she is still so small it is great to hear from Philippa how well she is doing and that other than being so tiny, she is thriving. I really hope the evening in November goes well and the psychic sees good things for the future!”
Tickets to the psychic night with Ronnie Buckingham are £12.50, to buy tickets or to donate prizes to the raffle, please contact Philippa at: [email protected].
For more information about The Sick Children’s Trust please visit: www.sickchildrenstrust.org
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Sick Children's Trust, on Tuesday 24 October, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/