Julia's House support family while mum has baby during lockdown

Julia's House support family while mum has baby during lockdown

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:28pm 8th July 2020. (Updated at 1:23pm 8th July 2020)

Julia's House have been helping a Weymouth family with respite care during lockdown.

They've been providing help to Emma and Craig, a family from Weymouth whose daughter, Sian has a life-limiting chronic illness called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II and requires 24-hour care. 

The charity has been helping the family with respite care since 2015.

As Emma was seven months pregnant, with a due date at the end of May, the family went into lockdown early to avoid any unnecessary risks.

Baby Elsie meeting Sian and Harry for the first time
Baby Elsie meeting Sian and Harry

"I had everything in place for the birth, with my family all lined up to help us when I went into hospital, but because of lockdown, everything I'd organised just fell through, it was incredibly stressful. 

"When PPE was introduced it was extremely difficult to source as there was a national shortage. Due to Sian's medical needs the carers are required to wear fitted masks to adhere to the aerosol procedure before entering the home. 

"These masks were either unavailable or would not always fit. Our personal carers were not allowed into the home because of this issue, which caused extra pressure and frustration to the whole family. This in turn meant my husband Craig and I were left to do 24-hour care, which wasn't easy for me as I was heavily pregnant."

Emma and Craig also have a son called Harry, so not being able to have the right PPE and not knowing who was going to look after Sian, was adding on to the stress of having a baby during the pandemic.  

Julia's House Dorset Hospice
Julia's House Dorset Hospice

Emma was finally booked in for her birth on 28th May and called their nurse, Natalie to let her know:

"They had just managed to get the masks they needed, so she said they would be able to help when I went into hospital. They had not known for certain right up until the last minute, so it was challenging for them as well. It was such a relief all round. Julia's House were absolute lifesavers!"

The nurses and carers were covering care from 2am-7am and were also on standby. Emma said that knowing Sian was being looked after so well, made such a difference.

Elsie, was born at 10:44am on 29th May, Emma said it was an emotional and nerve-wracking time, but they are pleased to be back home with Elsie. 

"She's a little Gem. Our son Harry, who is a little star, helped Sian too. We've also just celebrated Sian's 17th birthday, so it has been a busy few weeks. 

"We're certainly going to remember lockdown for a long while and the amazing support we received from Julia House."