A CHANCE meeting with a 'guardian angel' has helped the mother of a chronically ill child secure a medical room for home ahead of her son's 41st operation.
Nikki Kane with her son William and Howdens Joinery designer Lewis Hindle in the new home medical room
Nikki Kane was in floods of tears as she struggled to find a supplier of the vital kit with a grant sourced with the help of charity Darlington Carers Support. But kitchen designer Lewis Hindle spotted her as he walked across the Barrington Way Industrial Estate car park in Darlington and asked if he could help.
Nikki, 42, of Darlington, who lives with fibromyalgia syndrome, a condition causing pain all over the body, explained that her youngest son William required constant care.
“He is 10 and been in pain every day of his life,” said Nikki, who has another son with a condition which can stop his heart at any time and another with autism, dyspraxia and ADHD.
“William has 67 doses of medication a day, has to be fed through a tube and is about to have his bowel removed and a stoma fitted, his 41st operation. I have boxes of supplies delivered and have been struggling to store them so needed to convert my dining room into a medical centre for him.”
William’s condition started shortly after his birth and was first thought to be an allergy to food. His condition deteriorated and experts at Great Ormand Street Hospital, London, pinpointed the problem as gastroparesis – paralysis of the stomach – and dysmotility of the colon, which meant his bowel did not function. He was also found to have autism, delayed development and severe hypermobility of the joints, leaving him needing to use a wheelchair.
Nikki said: “Nothing phases William. He is my hero and the happiest little boy I have ever met. I can’t imagine what he has gone through so far yet he faces everything head on. He is a little warrior.”
She appealed to Darlington Carers Support for help and they secured a £1,500 grant from the charity Turn2Us.
Nikki recalled: “I spent three months talking to one supplier then they said they could not get the units. I was distraught when Lewis walked around the corner and, like my guardian angel, asked if he could help.
“He took me into his office and put everything into Howdens’ computer. It came back that it would cost £6,000 but he told me not to worry, they would just sort it. Then he told his boss and he is now going to make a donation to Durham County and Darlington Carers Support so they can help even more people.”
DCCS chief executive Jenni Wood said: “This is exactly what our charity is here to do, help people source funding they might not otherwise know about. I must also commend Howdens for responding so generously to Nikki and by offering us help to continue our work.”
Lewis added: “We were delighted to help. This is the first medical room I have designed and I’m really pleased with it. It’s nice to know you can help people out this way.”
William said: “I love my medical room and cannot believe it is all for me.”
“It is beautiful and has changed my life,” said Nikki. “It is so much easier having everything in one place. William loves it and it is so much more convenient with drawers and cupboards for the medications, syringes and sterile water.”
Durham County and Darlington Carers Support can be reached at www.dccarers.org and on 0300 005 1213.
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