Kayden made a dramatic entrance into the world at just 26 weeks in the back of an ambulance hundreds of miles away from home. He weighed a tiny 2lbs 4oz and was rushed straight to special care, it was a terrifying time for Kayden’s mum Lisa and her family.
“We spent two and half years in three different hospitals, miles away from home. I was away from my two older daughters, who were 11 and 14 at the time. It was so traumatic for all of us and I felt so helpless” said Lisa.
Eventually, Kayden was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus (a build up of fluid inside the skull), cerebral palsy, autism and chronic lung disease. He is unable to walk or feed himself.
Lisa explained “when the doctors told me there was nothing more they could do for my little boy, my heart shattered into a million pieces. How could this be happening? There must be something more they could do? I wasn’t going to give up on Kayden.”
The doctors told Lisa that Kayden wouldn’t make it past his second birthday and yet five years on, Lisa and Kayden are living back at home in Merthyr Tydfil.
“Kayden is so cheeky and intelligent, no matter what life throws at him he just gets on with it. Nothing fazes Kayden and I am totally in awe of him” said Lisa.
Lisa gave up her business to be Kayden’s carer, he needs 24 hour care. Lisa is constantly worrying as his hydrocephalus could kill Kayden in an hour.
Lisa was physically and mentally drained and was at breaking point when hospital staff put her in touch with Tŷ Hafan.
Lisa said “when I first went to Tŷ Hafan, I was horrified as I didn’t understand why a nurse kept following me everywhere, I laugh to myself now looking back! It was so strange for me to take a step back and let the nurses look after Kayden, so I could have a break. But I can honestly say that Tŷ Hafan saved me and I can’t imagine my life without them.”
Like any other child, Kayden just loves to play. When he comes to Tŷ Hafan, he can play and have fun in a safe environment. He especially loves messy play and playing with the other children. Lisa can relax and watch Kayden, whilst having a chat with staff and other parents who understand what Lisa is going through.
"Children use their imagination and creativity to learn through play, enhancing each stage of key developments. Every child has the right to play and at Tŷ Hafan we provide inclusive play sessions at the hospice and within community settings. This enables children to have access to the fantastic play resources/equipment and facilities to encourage children to reach their goals to their fullest potential, whilst having fun, smiling and laughing, creating forever memories."
Jemma Tudor, Outreach Play Practitioner.
Please show your support to Tŷ Hafan this summer so that we can help families across Wales who so desperately need a break and a little bit of light back in their lives.
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