Travel expense help for sick baby

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
18 replies 2.7K views
mr_benn_2mr_benn_2 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
Our daughter was born on 17th with Down's Syndrome and a bowel condition that required a 4 hour surgery on Thursday to repair it. They have now also discovered heart defects which will require surgeries to fix, most likely in the Evelina hospital in London.
We do not live a million miles away from the Royal, where she is in ICU, but the driving up and down is taking its toll, both physically and financially.
Does anyone here know the best value way to do this travelling or if there is some kind of help out there for struggling parents who just want to be at their baby's bedside?
I have had to take this week off work unpaid to be with her and I will have to return to work on Monday to keep money coming in. My wife does not work and we receive working and child tax credits (we have 2 teenage boys) which do not go very far!
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  • Hi Mr Benn

    I am so sorry that your dd is poorly and needing operations, I hope all goes well and they are a success.

    I appreciate how stressful all this is having a friend who had a similar experience. She got financial help for travel expenses and was able to stay in the Ronald McDonald house to ease the costs. I would suggest that you ask at the hospital if they can point you in the direction of some financial aid, I'm sure there will be a fund that you will be able to access.

    Sending you and your family hugs at this difficult time xx
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  • Congratulations on the birth of your daughter :) Sorry to hear that she has some health issues. I haven't much advice really but I didn't want to read and run. Could you ask your baby's doctor of they know of any charities that can provide assistance? Maybe the British Heart Foundation?

    Once you've made a claim for child benefit and CTC for your daughter you should be getting a bit more money, although if you have to be in London for a while it might not stretch that far. Hopefully someone else will come along with more info soon.

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  • CherrysconeCherryscone Forumite
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    Congratulations on the birth of your Baby Girl I hope her Health improves soon and she gets the Operations she needs do speak to the Hospital Social worker see if they can offer any help and check here http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/hospital-travel-costs-scheme
    I hope you get the help you need do keep us up to date with your Daughters Progress i wish you and your Family well x
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  • in_need_of_directionin_need_of_direction Forumite
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    Does your employer and/ or trade union have a welfare fund? You should maybe speak to the hospital social worker.
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  • edited 22 August 2015 at 9:15PM
    mr_benn_2mr_benn_2 Forumite
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    edited 22 August 2015 at 9:15PM
    No welfare fund as far as I am aware. I will try to see the hospital social worker at the start of the week but with work it may be tricky to get them during their work hours
    From a reading of the NIdirect page it looks like that benefit is for travel if I am ill myself, not for getting to and from hospital to see the baby?
  • So sorry Mr Benn, what a stressful time for you all. I recently stayed in RVH with a sick relative and one of the staff said there is a special fund to help families with parking charges. I'm not sure if it extends beyond that to travelling expenses but definitely ask one of the nursing staff about it.

    Can I also say I hope your daughter's treatment is successful and that after the difficult start she brings your family as much joy as my Down's sister has brought us. All the very best to you all. xxx
  • mr_benn_2mr_benn_2 Forumite
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    The staff have given us a pass that allows for free parking in one of the car parks on the grounds. It's a bit of a hike to the children's hospital but it's a welcome help
  • edited 23 August 2015 at 1:36PM
    jjdjjd Forumite
    216 Posts
    edited 23 August 2015 at 1:36PM
    Hi,
    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Hope her health improves soon.

    The family fund provide money and vouchers for purchasing things you might need at home or for family breaks. I'm unsure if they help with transport costs but either way you may as well apply to them as you are probably eligible if you are receiving tax credits. Often the money is transferred directly into your account and you just need to keep receipts of what you've used it for. People from NI can apply http://www.familyfund.org.uk/

    Downs & Proud - This is a local charity, you've maybe heard of it, but i'm sure if you give them a ring they might be able to point you in the right direction http://www.downsandproud.com/downloads/

    Disability Living Allowance is there also to help children like your daughter. I think the child has to be 3 months old to apply but when the time comes definitely do. In light of the fact your wife doesn't work she would probably be able to claim carers allowance too if you received high rate component. I would go to the benefits office and ask what there is available to get an up to date guide.
    Also when your child does receive disability living allowance it will mean your tax credits will have a disabled element payment added which should help quite a bit with all the additional costs you have with travel etc.

    The social work dept may be able to ring you if you can't meet or work to arrange a mutual time. They're there to help and should be flexible as possible

    There is help with travel costs but there's an income limit which i'm not sure of.

    There's a few other places which provide help / grants for kids so i'll have a look and get back to you if i can find them.
  • freddiemaefreddiemae Forumite
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    mr_benn wrote: »
    Our daughter was born on 17th with Down's Syndrome and a bowel condition that required a 4 hour surgery on Thursday to repair it. They have now also discovered heart defects which will require surgeries to fix, most likely in the Evelina hospital in London.
    We do not live a million miles away from the Royal, where she is in ICU, but the driving up and down is taking its toll, both physically and financially.
    Does anyone here know the best value way to do this travelling or if there is some kind of help out there for struggling parents who just want to be at their baby's bedside?
    I have had to take this week off work unpaid to be with her and I will have to return to work on Monday to keep money coming in. My wife does not work and we receive working and child tax credits (we have 2 teenage boys) which do not go very far!

    I hope your new baby brings your family joy. I know it is not for everyone but an appeal to Nolan could bring forward sponsors to help. Nolan did an excellent documentary about Down's syndrome so he may be helpful in this instance. I hope you find a solution - it is not right that someone who works should find himself in financial trouble just trying to be with his baby.

    Good luck to you and your family and I hope something turns up soon.
  • shawbarbarashawbarbara Forumite
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    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Hope her health improves very soon.
    If I remember correctly - Cool FM's Cash for Kids were fundraising for accommodation for families of children- maybe other radio stations have similar accommodation in London - would it be worth giving them a ring?
    Hope things improves soon and that you and your family have many special years with your daughter.
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