Hospital donates £50,000 to a charity that supports the families of patients

A hospital has donated £50,000 to a charity which hosts the families of patients, so they can stay in a hotel while they comfort their loved ones on the wards.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity has donated £50,000 to Ronald McDonald House Evelina London, to ensure families can continue to stay close to their children when they’re in hospital.

The Ronald McDonald House Evelina London is a 59 bedroom ‘home away from home’ providing families with the ability to remain close to their child whilst they are receiving medical care at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK operates 12 Houses across the UK, supporting families like Willian Oliveira and Vanina Sosa, whose three-year-old son Noam has had to spend much of his life at Evelina London.

Noam was born with a rare, congenital muscle disorder called nemaline myopathy.

The condition makes his muscles weaker, particularly in his chest.

This leaves him with breathing problems and trouble swallowing and coughing.

As he can’t cough up anything that enters his body, he is more susceptible to infection.

Willian, 37 said: “Noam’s condition has meant he has had to spend long stretches at Evelina London, as our local hospital doesn’t have a paediatric intensive care unit.

“Vanina and I take turns being at his side so he isn’t alone, so having a Ronald McDonald House is essential for us. When one of us is with Noam, the other can go to the House to eat, shower and rest.”

Families stay at the Ronald McDonald House Evelina London for an average of 20 nights though many, like Willian and Vanina, stay significantly longer.

Ronald McDonald House Evelina London. Credit: William Chu

In 2018 Noam spent 10 months in different hospitals, including more than six months at Evelina London.

Willian said: “It can be so stressful when your child is in hospital, so having somewhere comfortable and welcoming so close to the hospital helps to put our mind at rest.

“The Ronald McDonald House allows us to focus on Noam’s recovery, which is the most important thing to us.

“It is an amazing place. All of the staff there are so kind, from the management, to the receptionists, to the cleaners and security.”

Following a recent stay at Evelina London, Noam is now home in Brighton and recovering well. Willian said: “Noam’s muscles are getting stronger each day and he’s doing really well.

“He’s such an intelligent and chatty little boy who loves music and books.

“We’re so grateful to the staff at Evelina London and Ronald McDonald House Evelina London for all that they’ve done for all of us.”

Richard Francis, House Manager of Ronald McDonald House Evelina London, said: “COVID-19 has presented frontline services such as ours with unprecedented challenges.

“It is through donations such as Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity that we have been able to sustain our service and allow families to be close to their child in hospital.

“The generous donation of £50,000 from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity will provide families with safe, comforting accommodation and care throughout their child’s stay in hospital this year.

Pictured: Willian Oliveira and Vanina Sosa with their son Noam



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