INSTEAD of dreaming about their first Christmas together, the family of poorly baby Aaron was simply relieved their little boy had survived.
Aaron was born with a severe genetic disorder and has to have round-the-clock care. He has multiple seizures every day, needs many medicines and he’s fed by a tube.
Without Claire House, Aaron’s family would be completely lost, whether it’s for medical help or respite care.
It’s why the Russell Taylor Group Christmas Campaign is so important as it puts families first with its aim to raise £50,000 to be shared between Claire House and The Hive youth zone in Birkenhead.
Chief executive Ben Russell is calling upon the Burton Manor-headquartered recruitment business’ network of partners, professional colleagues and friends to join the campaign to support families like this.
While some Claire House families looking after a very sick child at home are having to give up work to provide 24-hour care, many of the 3,000 young people using The Hive and its groundbreaking youth facilities are drawn from an area where one in three live in poverty and may go without a present, food or a warm bed this Christmas.
Ben said: “On hearing how hard the cost of living crisis is hitting the families both charities support, we decided we had to do something and are hoping we can call on our friends and our professional networks to help too.
“Far too many families faced with financial pressures will have to think the unthinkable when it comes to making important choices surrounding their children this Christmas.
“They are already having a tough time and we’re hoping our support will make things a little easier for them so they can enjoy a well-deserved festive season with fewer worries.”
Aaron’s family were told their son would never leave hospital but, although still very sick, he was eventually taken off his ventilator and allowed home.
Dad Josh said: “It was to be our first Christmas as a family with our other son Callum, who was four at the time.
“Aaron had spent months seriously ill in hospital before Claire House entered our lives. Looking at our boys’ opened Christmas presents, the floor a sea of torn wrapping paper, we joked that our living room resembled a toy store.
“Yet, with the turkey cooking and relatives round the table, our first Christmas together was very different to the one we had imagined.”
Since coming home Aaron has had monthly stays at Claire House and has home visits from the team every week.
Josh added: “ They offer support for Callum as well as counselling and their nurses are there for us all day, every day, even at Christmas.
“Claire House also offers respite care so my wife Emma and I can have a typical relationship with Callum and each other. It’s a big relief. You don’t want to be relieved you’re not actually looking after your boy but sometimes it can be very hard.
“Aaron’s not going to have a normal life but Claire House helps us make sure he’ll have the best life he can.
“We imagined watching Callum chase Aaron across the playing field but that’s not going to happen. Instead, we hang on to every little thing we can.
“We don’t know what the future holds for him. All we know is we are looking after him and loving him, just like our other son.”