Francis House Children’s Hospice an official partner charity of #UKCharityWeek is asking people to think of hospice families and give a gift this December.
At any one time, Francis House has around 500 families receiving some form of care. Families like seven-year-old Thabani.
Thabani has a rare chromosome imbalance, which has given rise to global developmental delay. He cannot walk, talk and is fed via a tube.
He has a tracheostomy to help him to breathe, that requires suctioning, and in his short life has undergone hip surgery and major cranial surgery to alleviate the pressure on his brain.
Thabani is a loving, happy boy and has a big personality. He requires round-the-clock care and mum Busi has become expert in his care.
Statutory provision of respite care is minimal in many cases, and Francis House provides support for parents who care for their children often at the expense of their own health.
Every day without a break they go through a never-ending timetable of medicines, suction, feeding and pad changes – all in addition to caring for their other children and the challenges of daily life.
The family from Manchester, including Thabani’s dad Omphile and older brother Wandile, have been coming to Francis House for respite care for almost a year.
“Thabani is a sociable boy, his love is unconditional, and he wants to cuddle all the time. He has got special needs and a lot of work goes into looking after him.
“There are days that you just don’t sleep, and you still have to carry on. Every day, early in the morning, is preparing medications – about seven of them – and his tube feed. Thabani needs splints and a brace and some days I wake up and think gosh is there ever going to be a day I don’t have to be up at 6am. But he is always a priority, and you do it because you’re his mother.
“When we first came to Francis House, I can honestly say it was amazing. We came together as a family, and I can’t begin to tell you how Francis House has made possible what we could only have dreamed of.
“The staff took care of Thabani, and we stayed in one of the apartments. Wandile raves about Francis House and asks mummy when are we going back. He has made friends and looks forward to the sibling group Seasons.
“We now leave Thabani in the care of Francis House to get some respite. It was challenging at first, to leave him, but for a few days, it means that I don’t have to worry. To be able to have a place where you can have up to four stays a year represents a reality which otherwise would not have been possible and one that we could only have wished for.”
Through the generosity of the public, the doors of Francis House are kept open 365 days a year and throughout the Christmas period. To give a donation to Francis House this Christmas call 0161 443 2200 or for more information click here.