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I need financial help visiting my baby in hospital.

Hi,

Last Tuesday I had baby number four fully expecting to bring her home and get on with our lives. Unfortunately she has been born with a heart condition and within 24 hours she was transfered from one hospital to another to another. She's now in Alder Hey recovering from her first op and waiting for a second but fighting her way through. I was discharged from hospital and went straight up there (we live in Manchester), but my tyre blew out on the motorway so I had to pay to replace that. We have three young children at home so we're splitting our time between them and visiting our baby every evening, now my clutch has gone, my generous family have rallied round and we're never short of a car to borrow (hurray for comprehnesive insurance!) I'm struggling now to find the money for petrol. I want to visit her every day and need to take the milk that I've expressed, I just wondered if anyone knew of a charity that could give us a little grant to make it through the next few weeks, we have no disposable income as is the case with many since the con-dems took over.

Thanks, Oko.
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Comments

  • Itismehonest
    Itismehonest Posts: 4,352 Forumite
    This has happened for years & is far from new.

    Most hospitals have facilities for a parent to stay to be near a poorly child. It may be easier for your husband to arrange time off to look after the other children & for you to stay at Alder Hey.
  • kingfisherblue
    kingfisherblue Posts: 9,203 Forumite
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    First, congratulations on your new baby. Alder Hey is a wonderful hospital and I'm sure she will get excellent care there. They have saved my son's life more than once - his first surgery was at Alder Hey when he was nine hours old.

    There is a Ronald MacDonald House at Alder Hey, so you could enquire about staying there. It's a few years since I stayed, but friends of mine were there last year. There is no charge, although donations are always welcome. You get a room for you and your family, and separate kitchen area with cupboards, fridge, etc. there is also a lounge and a toyroom for the children.

    You can also ask if one parent can stay on the ward - might be useful if one of you can stay for a few days while the other is at home with the other children, but I realise that this is not ideal. There is a shower in most parents' lounges on the ward and there are tea and coffee making facilities.

    If you are a low income family, you may be able to claim back travel costs. Take in proof of any relevant benefits to the cash office. They will tell you how to claim. I couldn't claim when my son stayed, as we were just over the limit, but on our numerous clinic appointments since my ex left, I have been able to claim for travel expenses. I have to ask clinics to stamp a pink slip to prove that I have attended. The cash office have details of mileage from other towns and cities and pay a set amount accordingly. It is about £4.20 if you live in St. Helens, which is only a few miles away, so likely to be more for Manchester. The cash office will also validate your parking ticket if you qualify for travel expenses, so that you don't pay for parking.

    If you cannot claim travel expenses, ask on the ward about parking - there is an arrangement for parents who have a child in hospital so that they are not paying a fortune to visit their child.

    You could approach your PCT or Social Services to see if theey are able to help with the cost of travel - I've no idea if this is a possibility, but always worth asking.

    Try charities for further help or support in understanding your condition - it might be worth asking if there is any financial help for visiting your daughter. Again, I don't know if this is possible, but if you don't ask, you don't get. One charity for children with heart conditions is http://www.childrensheartfoundation.org/

    Alder Hey Information Centre (ground floor, about half way down) might be able to suggest more ideas. Your local Carer's Centre might be another port of call.

    If he hasn't already, your husband might be able to get compassionate leave, then take paternity leave when your daughter comes home, especially if he is able to return to work in between. My husband didn't know about this option when our son was born, but his supervisor suggested it. He took a week off as compassionate leave and then was able to take another week off (annual leave - no paternity leave in those days) when our son came home a few weeks later.

    I hope your little girl makes a speedy recovery. Having a baby in hospital is hard on all of the family. Feel free to PM me if you want to x
  • Torry_Quine
    Torry_Quine Posts: 18,828 Forumite
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    The only thing I would say is make sure you are insured to drive other people's cars. Having comprehensive insurance doesn't necessarily mean you can drive another car so please check.

    Hope all goes well with your daughter.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • Ghostlove
    Ghostlove Posts: 237 Forumite
    Absolutely ask about the Ronald McDonald House, my ex and I stayed in one when our son was in PICU and it was fab, just what we needed at the time.
    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
  • thelawnet
    thelawnet Posts: 2,576 Forumite
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    pineapple wrote: »
    Today's prize for the most unhelpful and juvenile comment goes to you.

    Not so.

    The OP is apparently desperate for help but yet couldn't resist making a dig at the government, describing them as 'con-dems'.

    Hence the 'con-doms' reply was entirely in keeping with the tenor of the OP.

    Juvenile? The OP was.

    If you need help, why alienate over half of the people who are going to read it by making silly political digs that prove and achieve nothing?
  • If you got nothing nice to say then DON'T say anything at all.
    Some people...!
    Best of luck OP. Hope and pray ur baby has a speedy recovery.

    Wacs xxxxx
    Assalamu alaikum. May Allahs blessings be upon you
  • Tigsteroonie
    Tigsteroonie Posts: 24,954 Forumite
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    Our son was born 11 weeks prem, whilst we lived in the same city as the NICU where he was being cared, money was tight and it was a real squeeze paying for transport to visit him every day and take up the EBM.

    The NICU social worker suggested The Family Fund, who normally provide grants to parents of disabled children. At the time we applied, we didn't know whether our son would be disabled or not, he was just an extremely premature baby with the potential for disability. The Social Worker completed the forms for us to expedite the application, and we received some money after a couple of weeks.
    :heartpuls Mrs Marleyboy :heartpuls

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    :) Proud Parents to an Aut-some son :)
  • purple.sarah
    purple.sarah Posts: 2,517 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    thelawnet wrote: »
    Not so.

    The OP is apparently desperate for help but yet couldn't resist making a dig at the government, describing them as 'con-dems'.

    Hence the 'con-doms' reply was entirely in keeping with the tenor of the OP.

    Juvenile? The OP was.

    If you need help, why alienate over half of the people who are going to read it by making silly political digs that prove and achieve nothing?

    I can't believe the con-dem comment is what stood out to you about the op, how about the fact her baby is in hospital so she might be a bit upset! What's your excuse!

    And your condoms comment was clueless as well as insensitive. Condoms don't always work even when used correctly and anyway a family might be able to budget for a new baby but not the unexpected expense of them being ill. You don't know the circumstances.

    If you want to make a political point why alienate over half of the people who are going to read it by making a dig at a mum asking for help when her baby is in hospital!
  • thelawnet
    thelawnet Posts: 2,576 Forumite
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    I can't believe the con-dem comment is what stood out to you about the op, how about the fact her baby is in hospital so she might be a bit upset! What's your excuse!

    My excuse for what?
    And your condoms comment was clueless as well as insensitive.

    Er, it wasn't my comment. Pay more attention, please.
    Condoms don't always work even when used correctly and anyway a family might be able to budget for a new baby but not the unexpected expense of them being ill. You don't know the circumstances.

    All true, but the 'con-dems' dig in the OP rather invited the 'con-doms' reply. The 'con-dems' point was foolish/misguided, so it's a bit much to complain about a reply in a similar tone.
    If you want to make a political point why alienate over half of the people who are going to read it by making a dig at a mum asking for help when her baby is in hospital!

    I haven't made any political points?
  • purple.sarah
    purple.sarah Posts: 2,517 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    thelawnet wrote: »
    My excuse for what?



    Er, it wasn't my comment. Pay more attention, please.



    All true, but the 'con-dems' dig in the OP rather invited the 'con-doms' reply. The 'con-dems' point was foolish/misguided, so it's a bit much to complain about a reply in a similar tone.



    I haven't made any political points?

    Sorry didn't realise it wasn't your comment but it was wrong and you were defending it. You were making a political point by defending the coalition and saying they shouldn't be called con-dems and this isn't the time or the place.
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