3rd February 2018

Showcase Saturdays

Greg Johnston

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Showcase Saturday – Episode #10

This week, in our final episode of the first series of ‘Showcase Saturday’ we have the story of a very special family indeed to Team Evie. We have become very good friends with Lottie since our paths crossed in 2015. We are always incredibly proud to see how well Oska is doing, especially this week when he started nursery… and in the same breath we always think of Leo, who we are sure is watching his brothers journey with pride…

Thank you so much to Lottie for sharing the story of her family, over to you!:

“Oska is our very lively and bubbly surviving twin. He was born at 25 weeks gestation weighing a tiny 890 grams just over three years ago now and was born four days after his twin brother Leo.

Oska spent four months on the Neonatal Unit at North Tees where he was diagnosed with Chronic Lung Disease. He came home on oxygen and was doing so well he managed to be weaned off after a few months!

Our first experience of PICU was when Oska was 11 months old and he was admitted with RSV and Haemophilus Influenza, he was critically ill and we were told to prepare for the worst after he suffered a heart attack. This time was also our first experience of Team Evie. We were in over the Christmas period and came in to Oska’s cubicle on Christmas morning to find a box stuffed with goodies (including delicious Christmas cake!) for myself and my partner Simon. In that moment, it made a world of difference. The fact that someone had thought of us on Christmas Day knowing the last thing on our minds would be thinking of ourselves was something to this day we hold very close to our hearts as a family.

We were also in when Greg and Jill donated the book trolley, our older son, Dax was four at the time and he was struggling with being stuck on the ward, this was a life saver! He even managed to find his favourite book EVER through Team Evie – ‘The Day The Crayons Quit.’

This wouldn’t be the last time we would see PICU or the last time we would be supported by Team Evie…

We have been in with Oska twice in the last several months due to chest infections and on both occasions, have been supported massively by Team Evie.

We have been lucky enough to have been given the NECTAR and Team Evie Transfer Bags, which were a godsend as we were rushed in in the early hours. Knowing I could brush my teeth and have a quick freshen up actually took some of the stress away as I could have a few moments doing ‘normal’ things.

Dax used the iPads too and loved playing on the apps – they kept him happy for hours! We of course used the book trolley again for both of the boys and Dax has requested ‘The Day The Crayons Came Back’ for our next PICU trip!

We were also fortunate enough to use the TV and DVDs with Oska after he came off the ventilator, he loves dinosaurs and when we saw Jurassic World along with the all-time favourites of ‘Peppa Pig’ and ‘Paw Patro’l he was a very happy little boy!

Greg, Jill and Evie have made a huge difference to our family over the last few years, not only with the help they give us through the charity but with their determination, positivity and desire to keep going no matter how hard it gets.

We have learned a lot from them, and in our darkest days, when they don’t even know it, we have found the strength to keep moving forward, be positive and in all honesty, we have been inspired.

We haven’t just been helped with PICU, in fact we’ve been helped with our grief over our son Leo. Each year Greg and Jill host a beautiful walk in memory of Evie and last year they got in touch to ask us if we would like Leo included in the remembrance event. Of course, we said yes! We were so touched to know he had been thought of and would have his own place on the night to be remembered. We live down in Stockton and couldn’t manage to get up for the walk last year but because of that Greg and Jill chose two of our friends who happen to be mutual thanks to our journeys, to carry Leo’s candle. He had a beautiful box filled with goodies just for him – when they arrived in the post, I was full of tears of joy. To know your child, who isn’t with you anymore, has gifts, presents with his name on, keepsakes, seeds to plant… I cannot explain the feeling, other than saying we will be forever and eternally grateful.

We adore the work they do, and they mean so much to us as a family.

Thank you Team Evie – we couldn’t do it without you. x”

Our Showcase Saturday feature will return in the future… if you would like to help us to keep supporting families like Oska’s you can, by clicking ‘donate’, signing up for one of our events, or visiting our online store.

Thank you for your support!