Hear from other families

Read below to find stories from families and their children and young people accessing our services. 
 
We are always looking for new stories to illustrate our services and the impact they have on families across East Anglia. If you'd like to share your story please get in touch with Michael Jarvis in our Marketing and Communications Team on michael.jarvis@each.org.uk.

Michael’s Story

“Having a child with such complex health needs can be very draining, though rewarding on all the family. EACH understand that and give care and support to every member of the family.

I feel blessed we have them to give us that emotional and physical support.”

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That is how much East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) means to Kirstie, mum and full-time carer to Michael Latta, three, who started Spring Common Academy in September, her husband Robert, who works in Cambridge, and daughter Emily, four, who attends Holywell C of E Primary School.

Michael was born very early at 34 weeks. He has achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, chronic lung disease, meaning he requires a 24/7 supply of oxygen, central and obstructive sleep apnea, meaning he needs non-invasive ventilation at night, a gastrostomy feeding device, an undiagnosed genetic condition, limited head control and was recently diagnosed with von Willebrand's Disease, too.

Michael benefits from short stays at EACH’s Milton hospice, giving his family, from Needingworth, some respite. He has also been offered hydrotherapy at the hospice to help his muscle tone.

Kirstie said: “The fact we can leave Michael with people trained and competent to look after him [is most beneficial]. Due to his medical needs, getting a babysitter is very hard and we rarely get time together as husband and wife. Having the time with Emily is great, too, as Michael takes the limelight a lot of the time.”

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The family also benefit from weekly two-hour visits as part of EACH Help at Home, the charity’s newest service that matches volunteers to families so they can provide practical support such as cleaning, cooking, driving and gardening. Kirstie describes the service as “amazing” and her volunteer as “like an extension to our family”.

Kirstie added: “Thanks to EACH we have got to meet so many inspiring families and children. One of my favourite memories was our trip to the local agricultural college. Both children had the most amazing time and we got to meet some truly amazing people. It can be very easy to feel self-pity, but through meeting other families you appreciate the strength and uniqueness of each and every one and you really start to recognise this in your own."

  • We are also supported by the 24/7 True Colours nurses and it’s so reassuring knowing we can call on them whenever we need support or advice Helen, William’s mum
  • EACH supports families when they’re at their absolute lowest, helping them to come to terms with their child’s illness, losing them and beyond Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • When we first heard about the hospice we were apprehensive because we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there we realised it was a lovely place where Renee would be well looked after, and we would be able to have a much-needed break. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • I really love going to the hospice. I’ve made friends there and get to do loads of fun stuff. Renee
  • I didn’t realise hope was a gift until I became a mum. My little boy taught me many things and that was one of them Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • We arrived at the hospice feeling scared and alone. We had so many questions – they answered them all and more. Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • I can’t imagine what it would have been like. Nobody should have to, every family should be offered the support we were, and are still getting Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • Renee loves going to The Treehouse, but it’s great that care staff are also able to visit us at home too. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • It’s been a great opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation, something that doesn't really happen anywhere else. Helen, William’s mum
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • EACH helps us to create lovely memories and has played an important part in all of our lives, not just Lucy’s. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • Children like Lucy don’t get the opportunity to go to sleepovers or to their friends for tea, so the interaction she has at the hospice is priceless. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. Brad, Stanley's Dad

The Treehouse

St. Augustine’s Gardens,
Ipswich, IP3 8NS

Milton

Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB

The Nook

Pigot Lane, Framingham Earl
Norfolk, NR14 7PX