Nikki Browne, mum to seven-year-old Mia and three year old Emily is doing this year’s Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon in aid of LauraLynn, Ireland’s children’s hospice.
“Emily is our happy little three-year-old girl. She was born with a list of different medical issues and severe global developmental delay. The first two years of her life were spent constantly in and out of hospital, trying to get to the root of her medical problems. Aside from heart complications, Emily had chronic lung problems. This was related to her poor feeding abilities and now she is fed via a jejunostomy tube in to her lower bowel.
Despite Emily’s background, she is a lively, extremely happy, funny and bright little girl. She loves one on one interaction, but her strongest bond is definitely with her amazing big sister, Mia. Emily attends LauraLynn so that we can spend time with Mia, doing things that we can’t when Emily is with us. It also gives us a break from the 24-hour care that Emily requires.
Emily avails of the best care from the nurses and all of the different therapies while she is in LauraLynn, not forgetting the different sensory rooms that she just loves. We have learned from Emily’s time in LauraLynn that she adores doing art with the carers. She comes home from her stay with different types of art work, which we treasure.
Attending LauraLynn has really improved Emily’s life. Each time she comes home she is doing new things, and is just so happy. It helps that the fantastic nurses there treat her like one of their own so she has become familiar with each of them and just as content as she is at home.
There is a list of things that we love about LauraLynn house, but the parental accommodation is really at the top of the list. Knowing that Emily can go for a stay in LauraLynn and we can go and stay too is very comforting. Not to mention the family days that are organised so we get to meet other parents of children with similar needs.
After learning of what it costs to keep Ireland’s only children’s hospice running, we decided to do what we could to help contribute. The Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon is a perfect way of being able to do this. I have a lot of support on the day, with family and friends all signing up. The part I love about the day, is meeting other people doing the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon for LauraLynn at the pre- and post- event. The atmosphere is fantastic. Everyone shows nothing but support for each other and Team LauraLynn!”
LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, provides palliative care to children with life-limiting conditions and their families, from the point of diagnosis to end of life, and throughout bereavement. Since opening in 2011, LauraLynn has cared for more than 325 children and their families and provided more than 265,000 hours of short stay care to children in LauraLynn Hospice. It costs €5.2million to keep LauraLynn’s Children’s Hospice open, and €3.5million of this needs to be generated each year through fundraising. For further information please visit lauralynn.ie