24 July 2018
Emma's Story - Reaching Crisis Point
Emma contacted Cholmondeley when she was unable to care for her son due to an emergency operation. “As a single mum, I am sharing my story to let you know that if you are going through a time of need, Cholmondeley could be your lifeline.”
Hi, I’m Emma.
Life is hectic, especially as a single parent. You take everything on and come to think you’re invincible. I never stopped to think about who would look after my son, Toby if anything was to happen to me. And then the unthinkable happened. Within one week of feeling unwell, I found myself in hospital. I was diagnosed with an infection that spread and resulted in an emergency amputation.
My immediate thought was who would look after Toby whilst I was in hospital? My family lived overseas and I didn’t have anyone to turn to. I found myself on an emotional roller coaster - one minute, I felt angry; the next, overwhelmed, stressed and upset.I thought I was ok handling the situation alone, but dealing with my illness was difficult and it was hard to mentally prepare for my operation. I just wasn’t coping. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t care for my little boy, and I felt like a terrible mother.
I didn’t have that help and support I desperately needed and I had to think fast. I came across Cholmondeley through one of the nurses at the hospital who helped me through the referral process. It was daunting for me as simply asking for help was a big step, but Cholmondeley responded immediately. Within two hours they gave Toby the emergency respite care needed.
Toby was apprehensive when a social worker from the hospital came to collect him to take him to Cholmondeley. I reassured Toby that the hospital would take good care of mummy and told him I would call after my operation. That evening, I received a phone call from Cholmondeley to let me know Toby had settled in well. They then passed the phone over to Toby and he began to tell me about his day. He told me that Cholmondeley was a friendly place and that he had spent the afternoon walking along the beach with the other children before enjoying pizza for dinner. When I said goodbye, I breathed a sigh of relief because I knew Toby was in a safe place and was happy.
Toby now has regular respite care at Cholmondeley, so I can recover from my operation. It’s been a break for me and Toby gets to have fun and try to forget about the burden my illness has had on the both of us.
I don’t know how we would of managed if it wasn’t for Cholmondeley. The reality is it can happen to anyone! So, I’m sharing my story in hope that you can support Cholmondeley Children’s Centre to continue to support families like ours in times of need.
Thank you for reading my story.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.