By Daniel Webster, dweb.News
A grateful mum will say goodbye to her golden locks next year as she undertakes a sponsored head shave in order to raise GBP2,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust, which kept her at her daughter’s side.
Natalie Engstrom, a Great Yarmouth native, sat beside her baby’s incubator 13 years ago, hoping she would live to fight another day. Tegan struggled to breathe just minutes after her birth and had to be revived four times. A nurse discovered a hole in her roof (cleft palate), which was the reason for her breathing difficulties. Pierre Robins syndrome was diagnosed in Tegan. This condition affects only 50 babies in the UK each year. She was transferred from The Friarage, Northallerton, to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for emergency treatment. Natalie and Kevin were given a place by The Sick Children’s Trust at Crawford House during this time. Crawford House is one the charity’s “Homes from Home” located just a few steps from the RVI’s children’s wards. Both parents could be at their daughter’s bedside by having a place to sleep.
Natalie, a 36-year-old mum, will be shaving her head on Saturday 21 August to raise funds for the charity that helps other families stay together. She said:
“Kevin was young when Tegan was born and we didn’t have much money together. We were far from home. I was on maternity leave and Northallerton was where the army was stationed. We would have been really struggling without The Sick Children’s Trust providing a ‘Home from home’. We couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel and would have slept in our car.
“Being at Crawford House meant that we were so close with Tegan. It is impossible to prepare for your child being rushed to another hospital far away, and not being able hold your baby. We arrived in Newcastle not knowing where our baby was, or what was going on. However, I do recall being told about The Sick Children’s Trust. They told us that Crawford House had room for us, so we didn’t have the need to leave Tegan alone in hospital. We were so close to Tegan that we could even go to her at night.
“When we left, we had only GBP5 to donate as a donation. Crawford House was completely funded by donations. I knew this, but we couldn’t afford it. Since then, we have moved from Northallerton to Great Yarmouth and are now in a position where we can do something.
“I know how much this money will make a difference to families – we spoke with many people who had been there for many months when we visited Crawford House. It was a lifesaver for us. While I’m nervous about shaving my hair, I know it will grow back and that the money I raise will be well worth it.”
Crawford House celebrates 25 years of keeping families close to their child’s hospital bedside. The Sick Children’s Trust Home from Home was established in 1996. It has provided a safe place for families like Natalie’s to stay, and one less thing to worry when their child is in hospital.
Tegan, who will be 13 years old in a few months, is doing well and encouraging her mom to shave her hair. She said:
“When I learned that my mum was doing what she is doing, the first thing I wanted to tell her was how proud I am. I know that people have said she will regret it, but I know that my mum won’t. I am proud of her for having the courage to do it and raising money for an amazing charity that helps families and ours. “Thank you for your support when we needed it most.”
The charity costs GBP30 to support one family for one night. Over the years, it is thanks to people such as Natalie, who have taken on a fundraising challenge for charity Crawford House has become a Home from Home’ for thousands of families. Alexia Addis, Regional Fundraising Officer, said:
“We know that Natalie’s head shaving is a difficult task and we are grateful to her for taking the time to do it for us and the families she supports.
“It is heartening to know that the families we have supported over many years are still so passionate about helping other families with seriously ill children in hospitals. A warm and comfortable place to call home can help ease the stress of a child in hospital.
“We wish Natalie all the best!”
To sponsor Natalie, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/natalie-engstrom
Press release distributed by Pressat for The Sick Children’s Trust on Tuesday, 20 July 2021. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/
More dWeb.News Health and Wellness News from https://dweb.news/news-sections/health-medical-news/