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.

Maisy's Story

Maisy Kidd-Munnery is 11 years-old and lives with her mum Sophie, dad Matt and little sister Poppy in Dovercourt, Essex.

Sophie suffered with Pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy meaning that Maisy was born nine weeks prematurely by emergency caesarean in order to save both their lives. Maisy has a number of complex care needs – she suffered two bleeds on her brain within a few days of being born. She then started to have severe seizures called Infantile Spasms at just a few weeks old, suffering from more than 200 seizures a day.  As a result of her complex needs Maisy underwent a number of medical procedures in the first few weeks of her life in hospital in Colchester.

When Sophie and Matt were finally able to take her home they started to notice Maisy wasn’t developing as she should be. Her eyes seemed unable to focus on things and she wasn’t reacting to things around her – after specialist tests they were given the devastating news that Maisy was blind. From then on the diagnoses continued. They were told Maisy had Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy causing her lack of head control and slow development. Maisy still has up to 40 seizures a day and is very susceptible to chest infections.

The whole Kidd-Munnery family have been using services through The Treehouse in Ipswich since 2012.

Sophie Kidd-Munnery, explained: “Maisy needs constant one to one support for all of her care needs and daily activities to make her life as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. We became a part of EACH in 2012 shortly after The Treehouse opened. We were apprehensive at first - not sure whether we were ready to admit we needed a hospices input. I feel there is a huge stigma attached to the word hospice and we were always trying to escape the reality of what Maisy’s life-threatening conditions meant.

“After doing a little research I discovered EACH - the support and services they provide are so wonderful not just for Maisy but to us all as a family. Maisy has music therapy which has become such a valuable part of her life. It has helped her to progress in so many ways – allowing her to use her hearing in a more productive way, encouraging communication skills such as sounds and body movements and provides her with an all important soothing effect when she isn't feeling well. She is definitely familiar now with Ray who does the sessions with her. He sometimes even gets a smile which she only does to people she knows well and likes!

“Maisy receives specialist play which is a fun activity that at times she responds to in such a wonderful way. We all attend family events such as Treefest, Christmas parties and the Dance East days which are fantastic. These events help us make such important memories of things we wouldn't be able to do anywhere else because of Maisy's needs and gives us that all important time just being a family.”

Maisy’s little sister Poppy, who is five years-old, also loves her time at The Treehouse. Sophie continued: “Poppy came into our lives five years ago and what an amazing journey that has been! The bond Maisy and Poppy share is unbreakable and now Poppy is old enough she attends the sibling groups which she really enjoys as well as group music sessions. We love spending time together at The Treehouse in the sensory room, the wonderful woodland and play area. Maisy's Dad and I also attend the Mums and Dads nights which we enjoy very much.

“I cannot imagine our lives without EACH now and I sometimes wish we hadn't let the fear of the word hospice put us off for so long. We are truly grateful for the constant support that we receive from everyone at The Treehouse.”

  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. 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
  • 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
  • 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

The Treehouse

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

Milton

Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB

Quidenham

Quidenham , Norwich,
Norfolk, NR16 2PH