In September 2014, Aoife Grace Williams was born in Colchester, Essex. Unfortunately, she needed significant medical support having suffered very acute Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (ingesting waste into her lungs while still in the womb). As a result, she was transferred to the Neo‐natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge for highly specialist treatments.
Her parents, David and Tina Williams, were incredibly fortunate to be offered support by the Sick Children’s Trust. They were given a beautiful room in the trust’s Chestnut House facility just two floors below the NICU. This facility gave immense relief to Aoife’s parents. It enabled them to spend as much time as possible with her, and be on hand when there was a chance it might be the only time they’d ever spend with her.
As a result of the amazing work and care of all three hospitals that cared for Aoife, her story finishes on a high note, with a thriving (noisy) baby of six months old. Meconium Aspiration Syndrom is incredibly dangerous at the level she suffered it, and can have long-term effects, but she’s bounced back with amazing gusto.
To say the Sick Children’s Trust is amazing is an understatement. Despite the seriousness of Aoife’s condition, her family stayed in their home-from-home a comparatively short time – others aren’t so lucky. To have somewhere pleasant to stay so close by gave a great deal of comfort at such a difficult time. Each room in Chestnut House costs around £13,000 to run each year, and The Sick Children’s Trust have ten home-from-home facilities across the UK, all funded by donations.
The aim of this event is to raise at least £26,000 to keep two rooms going for a year. David, Aoife’s father, is a passionate fan of the 24 hours of Le Mans motor endurance race. He wanted to create a fundraising venture that stands out from the crowd to generate significant exposure, as well as funds, for The Sick Children’s Trust.