Published: 18/02/2013 14:40

Mother 'giving back' to charity who helped her son

Written byBY JAMES BRINDLE

Harry Smith Harry Smith

A MARCHINGTON mother is organising a quiz night in aid of the children’s charity that helped to rehabilitate her son following his sudden brain injury.

With the help of her friends, Neil and Franky Taylor, Julia Smith is running a fund-raising quiz at Marchington Village Hall on Saturday, March 2 from 7.30pm with all proceeds going to The Children’s Trust.

Her son Harry, then aged just 10-years-old, suffered a brain injury due to a routine cold and chest infection in February 2011.

Airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Harry spent five days in an induced coma to allow the swelling in his brain to reduce.

This left him unable to walk, speak or perform basic functions and he was transferred to Queen’s Hospital in Burton for five weeks before being granted a place in a very special rehabilitation hospital for brain injured children.

After a six-month stay at The Children’s Trust in Surrey, Harry and his mother were able to return home to Harry’s older brother Oliver to rebuild their lives again.

Harry’s brain injury had improved so much that he was able to join his friends at Oldfields Middle School in Uttoxeter, albeit with one-to-one support.

Mrs Smith said she and her family owed a great debt to the charity for the care her son received and she felt now was the time to give back.

“We would not be where we are today without the support and help of The Children’s Trust”, she said.

“They gave the most amazing care to Harry whilst giving me accommodation and support throughout the entire stay.

“At a recent parents’ evening at school I received nothing but glowing praise for Harry and his rehabilitation so it’s our turn to raise money for other parents who find themselves in the same distressing position.”

Back in 2011 three nurses from Burton’s Queen’s Hospital who treated Harry helped raise funds for The Children’s Trust by giving up a day to volunteer at the charity and check on Harry at the same time.

The Children’s Trust provides care, education, therapy and rehabilitation to children with multiple disabilities, complex health needs and acquired brain injury (ABI).

Their services include the UK’s largest paediatric brain injury rehabilitation centre, support in the community for children and young people with acquired brain injury,

The School for Profound Education for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), short breaks, transitional, palliative and long-term nursing care.

Although the Trust can charge the children’s local authorities for their basic care, education and therapy the fees don’t cover everything.

Generally, the Trust budgets for a shortfall of about £500,000 each year which must be met by voluntary donations.

Tickets for the quiz are £8 per head and include a hog roast.

There will also be a raffle on the night to boost funds and prizes would be gratefully received.

Anyone who wants to buy a ticket can contact Julia on 07941 144826 or Neil on 07944 190263 or alternatively they are available from Marchington Village Shop in Church Lane.

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