Kimberley Williams is fundraising for 8 charities in a mammoth campaign to support the organisations who helped her family during the first year of her son Rio’s life. Rio had a number of complications after he was born which meant he was in and out of hospital.
“Rio’s had 2 major surgeries, spent 45 nights in 4 different hospitals. Hes been under general anaesthetic 3 times, He’s been resuscitated once, He’s had his bowel perforate & his windpipe crushed. He’s had 5 ambulance rides & so many hospital visits, we once had 6 appointments in 1 week and saw 3 hospitals in 1 day!
“He has been fed by a tube for 8 months, about 30 X-rays, 1 CT scan, 1 sleep study, 10 vaccinations & more blood tests that I can count. All of that with 1 congenital heart anomaly & the addition of 1 very important extra chromosome, 21,” Kimberley said.
Kimberley was referred to the Carers’ Centre by a friend after Rio was born and the complications began.
“It was all a bit of a shock and very difficult as we had no indications anything was wrong while I was pregnant. I had some counselling with the Centre in the first instance, which was very helpful.”
Thanks to the Centre the family were able to go on activities as a family.
“Normal things kind of go out the window so we probably wouldn’t have been able to go on trips or anything if it hadn’t all been organised by the Centre. It enabled us to have a few hours as a family together doing something nice. My other son, Felix, (3) really benefited from this time together to get out and do things.”
Rio is currently still recovering from heart surgery.
“Rio is doing OK, he still has a tube for feeding. His windpipe is not yet healed so there is a lot of uncertainty and he’s still quite high risk.”
Kimberley decided to set up the fundraiser in lieu of people buying gifts for Rio or the family. Her goal is £8,000 for 8 charities including the Carers’ Centre. The other organisations are Cots for Tots, The Grand Appeal, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Sick Children’s Trust, Ups & Downs Southwest, Wouldn’t change a Thing and Time is Precious.
“We have lots of toys and things already so instead of that we wanted to encourage people to help the organisations that have really helped us. We’ve been so overwhelmed by people’s generosity so we hope to keep the momentum going and reach our target.”