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Erin's Story

Raising awareness and funds for Ronald McDonald House

Erin only lived for 22 days, but in that short time Erin has left such an impression on so many lives and now in her memory Erin's parents work hard to raise awareness of Turner Syndrome and Congenital Heart Defects and raise money for Ronald McDonald House, who gave them so much support and a place to stay while Erin was in hospital.

"We found out that Erin may have a problem with her heart in pregnancy as she had Turner Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder, so it was arranged that she would have a heart scan shortly after birth at our local hospital. This scan detected problems so Erin was transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital when she was 1 day old. Alder Hey was 60 miles from where we lived and tragically she was never able to leave. Due to my own medical needs, I was unable to go with Erin when she was transferred and it was 9 hours before I was reunited with my precious daughter.

This seperation was horrendous and I knew that I could not bear to be apart from my gorgeous new Erinborn baby girl like that again. This was when we were told about the wonderful Ronald McDonald House. They had accommodation onsite at Alder Hey, only 3 minutes from Erin's ward and we would be able to stay there free of charge for as long as Erin was in hospital. This was amazing to me. As I was shown to our room, private bathroom and shared kitchen facilities I was still in shock and terror at the fact that my daughter was going to need heart surgery. I would not have been able to cope with the additional stress of finding accommodation as well and would definitely not have been able to leave her and go home. Without them I imagine we would have tried to sleep on a chair by Erin's bed or in the car - at a time when we were at our most fragile and under more stress than we had ever experienced before this could only have made things worse.

Erin lived for 22 days - 21 of them spent at Alder Hey. She suffered complications following her heart surgery and spent the last two weeks of her life critically ill in intensive care. There were a number of occasions when she required emergency procedures in the middle of the night and it was at these times that the wonderful work of Ronald McDonald House was really evident. The nurses were able to telephone our room and we could rush over and be by Erin's side in minutes, allowing us to give her a kiss before she underwent further surgery.

I wanted to spend every second I could at little Erin's side: holding her hand; stroking her hair and whispering words of love in her ear, but I knew that I couldn't. As her parents we needed to stay strong and we needed to get rest so that when we were with her we were at our best. If Ronald McDonald House had not been able to provide accommodation so near, I don't know what we would have done. For the entirety of Erin's stay at Alder Hey I was never more than 5 minutes from her side.

The precious time that we had with her was never wasted on travelling times and for this I am so thankful. We only had 22 days with our precious little girl so every second really mattered. The work that Ronald McDonald House do gave us more time with our darling girl and therefore more memories. These memories are now the most precious thing I have. "

Further information

Ronald McDonald House provide free accommodations to families with children in hospital. They currently have 14 houses and their aim is to build one at every Children's Hospital within the UK, however they rely purely on donations from their supporters. Visit RMC website.

Erins parents have raised over 6,000 for Ronald McDonald House based at Alder Hey Children's Hospital since Erin died in December 2011. However they are now also starting to raise money and awareness for the following charities:

Turner Syndrome Support Society
UK Association for Milk Banking
Alder Hey Imagine Appeal

Erin's Gift which is the name set up to raise funds in memory of precious Erin also have a wonderful range of gifts which will help raise valuable funds for their cause, you can purchase the items by clicking here

erins gifts

You can also follow Erin's Gift on Twitter @erinsgift and keep updated with their blog by clicking here