South Normanton family thank hospice

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At two-days-old, Owen Porter’s parents were told their son might not survive the ambulance ride he needed to save his life.

Thankfully he did but Owen, now ten, was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition that tore their world apart.

Eight years ago his parents Tara and Jason from South Normanton, discovered Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People and said the support they have received has been invaluable.

They want to raise awareness of the charity and encourage people to support Rainbows and visit the hospice on its open day later this month.

Tara said: “We are very grateful to Rainbows for giving us precious family time. I want people to know about the good work Rainbows does to help children like Owen and families like ours and I hope that people will support them in any way they can.”

When Owen was two-days-old, he began vomiting old blood and was transferred immediately from the Royal Derby Hospital to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, where it was uncertain if he would survive the journey. In theatre, surgeons discovered Owen’s intestines hadn’t formed properly during pregnancy. They removed 90 per cent and Owen was left with Short Bowel Syndrome, which causes malabsorption.

At just a week old, Owen had a perforation in his bowel and his parents were told to prepare for the worst. Owen was diagnosed with liver failure, he picked up numerous infections and at four months old Owen suffered a cardiac arrest. In his first three years Owen was constantly in hospital for operations and blood transfusions. And for Tara and Jason, who also have a 13-year-old son,Ryan, rest is impossible. Tara added: “When we first visited Rainbows, it was amazing. We stay there as well as Owen and I get some rest. I get to be a mum knowing the medication is taken care of. Owen loves Rainbows and he doesn’t want to come home. When we are going, we get so far along the M1 and he starts clapping and smiling.”

On September 17, Rainbows will open its doors to the community, to show inside East Midlands only hospice for children and young people. For more call 01509 638000 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk.