Sam’s 14 years old son Lewis was diagnosed with unilateral open lip schizencephaly; an extremely rare malformation of the brain at just a couple of weeks old. Lewis was also referred to the eye hospital where specialists confirmed he was also blind.
Lewis and his family first visited Charlton Farm, in Bristol when Lewis was just six months old.
The family; Sam, Lewis, Lewis’s dad Frazer, brothers Scott and Daniel have always enjoyed regular visits to Charlton Farm where they have been able to spend precious time together relaxing, having fun, making new friends and expanding their care network.
Mum Sam tells us how she is able to recharge her batteries whilst Lewis is cared for, enjoying the simple things such as a bubble bath and a facemask. Sam said:
It's home from home. I get to catch up on my sleep when I go there but it’s also a time when I can spend quality time with my other children.
“Throughout the years of visiting Charlton Farm, Scott and Daniel had the opportunity to make friends with other siblings and were able to talk to them about what they are going through to help them feel that they weren’t alone. This was so important, growing up with a brother who needed specialised care.”
Sam explains how the team at Charlton Farm were particularly supportive when she previously suffered from a mental health breakdown which required months of therapy to recover from.
I've had points where I have called them crying and the team at Charlton Farm have always been there, they've been a shoulder for me to cry on. They even make the effort to ring and check in to see if we as a family need anything.
"The team help as much as they can - even small things like at Easter, one of the staff members came with Easter eggs and had a chat outside. It's the little things that make such a huge difference,” added Sam.
Charlton Farm’s prolonged support prompted Sam and her sister Cheryl to co-organise a ‘Family Fun Day’ event in Yeovil for families to help raise vital funds for Children’s Hospice South West.
This year they are celebrating their third year of running the Yeovil ‘Family Fun Day’ and they expect to welcome other children and young people that are being supported by CHSW as they have done in previous years. Cheryl said:
We are so appreciative and thankful for such an amazing team at Charlton Farm and for the support from everybody.
The ‘Family Fun Day’ at Johnsons Park, Yeovil will take place Saturday, August 26 from 10am to 2pm.
The entrance fee is £2 for adults and £1 for children to make it an accessible day out for all families with food, music, entertainment, fairground rides, bouncy castle, axe throwing, facepainting as well as a number of stalls offering family fun.
Sam and Cheryl are looking for people to volunteer and help on the day and for sponsorship to help them with costs for the event. If you would like to get involved in any way, please do get in touch by emailing Cheryl on email@example.com or calling Sam on 07805873809.