By Dave Massey @brumhour
Every year Birmingham Children’s Hospital has to sit down with around 100 parents or sets of parents to deliver very difficult news about their child. They have around about the same number of conversations out in the community.
When Naomi Messer, 33, from Dudley was on the end of terrible news she was on Ward 15, Oncology. With only a cubicle curtain for privacy, the team told her and her husband, John, also 33, in 2011, that there was nothing else that could be done to support their son Noah with his treatment for leukaemia. This heart-breaking news was broken to them on the ward, with only a cubicle curtain for privacy.
Noah, who was one month off his third birthday, had been a patient at Birmingham Children’s Hospital since he was 17 months old. He had received multiple operations, including a bone marrow transplant from his older brother Zack, who is now 14 years old, as well as various courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Today, Birmingham Children’s Hospital have announced their public fundraising campaign for Magnolia House, which is a new £1 million building, creating a calm and natural environment that supporting families when they need it most.
Michelle McLoughlin, Chief Nursing Officer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital explains:
“Sadly, we do sometimes have to give families life-changing news. We may need to tell them of their child’s life-limiting diagnosis, or they may need help understanding their child’s treatment. We understand how tough it is to hear such news and Magnolia House will be a peaceful haven that will give our families the time and space to be together when they need it most, away from the hustle and bustle of the wards.”
“Having a facility like Magnolia House we hope will go some way to allow families to recover before they feel ready to face the world again.”
With space at a premium, these conversations currently take place wherever there is room – for example in an office, empty cubicle or even a playroom.
Support the Magnolia House project here :bch.org.uk/magnolia
Earlier this month I went to find out about #TheBigHoot2015 with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. You can read my blog about it here: brumhour.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/giving-a-hoot-this-summer-in-birmingham