Guy’s and St Thomas’s has donated £50,000 to a home run that gives families a place to stay when their children are being treated in the nearby Evelina London hospital.
Ronald McDonald house on Lambeth Road has 59 bedrooms for families of sick children. Brighton-based Willian Oliveira and Vanina Sosa have often stayed there when their young son Noam has been getting treatment for his serious muscle condition.
Three-year-old Noam has nemaline myopathy, which makes his muscles weaker, especially in his chest. Because of this he has breathing problems and trouble swallowing and coughing, which makes him susceptible to infection.
The family’s local hospital in Brighton does not have the facilities to treat Noam, so he has to come to Evelina London. He has spent much of his life there, including six months at Evelina London just last year. Another four months were spent in different hospitals.
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.”
Noam is now home 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.