When a child is in hospital, it can mean a family is torn in two.
But a charity is helping families stay together by providing a “home from home” on the doorstep of Leeds General Infirmary.
The Sick Children’s Trust runs Eckersley House, which has been nominated for the group award at this year’s Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards, supported by Yorkshire Post Newspapers.
For Theresa Barber, whose eight-year-old son Luke was rushed into hospital a fortnight ago, Eckersley House - just a two-minute walk from the children’s ward - has meant her younger son Harry, five, could stay with mum and dad while his brother is in hospital. Initially admitted with a burst appendix, tests revealed serious bowel complications and Luke was treated on the intensive care unit.
Mrs Barber, 34, of Hemsworth said: “Having somewhere to stay has kept the family together. When Luke was initially on the ward I struggled to sleep beside him, having a space at Eckersley House has meant we’re all able to get a good night’s sleep before facing what the day has to throw at us.”
The support of staff has been invaluable to Jess Dagg and Anton Moses, from Huddersfield, while their daughter Elise, who is 15 months old, has been treated for a twisted bowel. Mr Moses, 28, said: “It’s been a long journey but the staff have made it so much easier, and now Elise is back to her happy, normal self.”
Eckersley House manager Jane McHale said: “When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness or has a terrible accident, life for the whole family is thrown into complete turmoil. That’s where The Sick Children’s Trust and Eckersley House steps in.”