Local charity highlights the #MomentsThatMatter for children with life-limiting conditions and their families

NORTHERN Ireland Children’s Hospice is celebrating #MomentsThatMatter during this year’s Children’s Hospice Week – June 17-23.

Children’s Hospice Week is a national awareness week, highlighting the importance of children’s hospice services for children and their families. Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is the ONLY Children’s Hospice in here.

Established in 2001, the Children’s Hospice delivers specialist hospice care both at the Children’s Hospice in Belfast and in family homes across Northern Ireland, caring for over 300 children each year.

Year on year, the complexity of diagnosis being seen at the Children’s Hospice is increasing and babies are often living longer due to advances in medicine. During this month’s awareness week, staff at the Children’s Hospice are seeking to celebrate #MomentsThatMatter in the care of local babies and children living with life-limiting conditions and those facing end of life.

Grace Stewart, Head of Children’s Services at NI Children’s Hospice, said: “The number of very young babies who now need our help is increasing. Children born with severe disabilities, who just a few years ago would have been expected to pass away in hospital shortly after birth, are now living for weeks, often months. The medical conditions these babies are living with are incredibly complex – and they need round-the-clock expert care.

“Often the only option for these children is to stay in a children’s hospital environment. So, these wee ones and their parents are stuck there simply because there is nowhere else for them to go. More and more, families are split apart as parents juggle the needs of other children at home and having to work to keep money coming in. All this, while dealing with the huge uncertainty of how long they have left with their baby.

“At Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, we felt we could do more to help these families with very young babies. We have the skills, the knowledge, and the experience to help. Therefore we worked hard to find the funds to open an extra bed dedicated to helping families transition out of hospital for however long or short that time might be and where possible, help them to transition home if their baby is well enough. We have named the bed the ‘I’m Coming Home Bed’.

To continue to operate this extra special bed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, it costs £19.98 per hour.

This Children’s Hospice Week, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is asking people to consider donating £19.98 to help babies and their families who desperately need this special bed to help them cherish #MomentsThatMatter.

Donations can be made via Facebook donate or online at www.nihospice.org/donate

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