In September 2011 Henry was born prematurely at 24 weeks, weighing just 1.7lbs. He was so tiny that his lungs weren’t fully formed, and he now suffers from several serious conditions including chronic lung disease. His mum Bev shares his story:
‘Henry has been in and out of Bristol Children’s Hospital his entire life. He’s been on ventilators in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and had operation after operation, and the doctors and nurses always do their very best for him. The Hospital has become like a home from home, and Henry has made so many friends there.
‘Henry loves music and dancing so he really enjoys visits from the Hospital’s music therapist Karen with her guitar. He’s also very fond of Miranda the Play Specialist, who kept him entertained when he was once confined to his hospital room and unable to go out into the main playroom. Both these services are supported by The Grand Appeal and we’re very grateful for them.
‘At home Henry needs continuous care. He’s on 10 medications a day as well as a constant supply of oxygen, and a peg feed through his stomach. When he was born I knew nothing about being a full-time carer, so it’s been a steep learning curve, but Bristol Children’s Hospital has supported me and my husband Barry all the way.
‘Staff provided us with training on the oxygen machine, feeding through the peg and much more, and if I ever didn’t feel comfortable doing something, they wouldn’t let me leave the Hospital until I was completely confident carrying out the procedure.
‘Unfortunately Henry will never get better, but he will get stronger and in the future there is the possibility of a lung transplant. Bristol Children’s Hospital is the reason he is here now, the staff are absolutely wonderful and I can’t say enough good words about them.
‘Fundraising for The Grand Appeal is our way of giving something back. In 2016 Henry and I walked the Great Bristol Family Mile for the charity, raising £1300. Henry absolutely loves Wallace & Gromit so he was very excited to take part!
‘Please support The Grand Appeal and help more children like Henry get the very best care and support.’
Bev and Henry are currently supporting our new campaign, Wallace & Gromit’s BIG Bake, which encourages budding bakers to whip out their whisks and raise some dough for Bristol Children’s Hospital. Henry has even tried out some of the recipes himself!