Maisy Kidd-Munnery is 14 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 eight years-old, also loves her time at The Treehouse. Sophie continued: “Poppy came into our lives eight 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.”