Laila’s story

Acorns is changing lives by reaching out and taking our children’s hospice care into family homes and into their own communities.

Mum Liga shares her powerful story and explains why there’s no-one else who can offer this vital support. She reveals how Acorns and the Outreach team has helped plan a major milestone for her daughter Laila – her first day at school.

The first day at school is a key moment in life that every child and parent should get to experience. But for mum Liga, it’s one moment she never thought her daughter Laila would have.

Laila has cerebral palsy and is blind. When not receiving attention, she can cause herself pain – and for mum Liga the thought of leaving Laila for a second, let alone a whole day at school, was terrifying.

But thanks to the help from our Outreach team, Laila will be starting school in the autumn.

A little girl gazes at some sensory bubble lights

“When you get help from Outreach, you don’t need to worry and it’s amazing. I have the confidence to do other things, when before I couldn’t even leave her side.”

Laila, now aged three, suffered bleeding while she was still in mum’s tummy, and was born tiny and in a critical condition. Her parents didn’t think she was going to pull through.

But Laila is a ‘fighter’ and she stayed at five different hospitals for 148 days before being allowed home. Life for the family changed completely and caring for Laila became a full-time job.

There were sleepless nights, and Liga felt she didn’t have time to do ordinary tasks that other families might take for granted.

A woman, boy and little girl sit beside a ball pool. They are laughing

Help couldn’t wait, and Acorns stepped in.

It’s been a gradual process where Outreach Nurse Laura has supported the family, caring for Laila to allow the family time for themselves, and to help Laila meet new faces in a way that has been comfortable and felt safe for her.

Liga said: “It’s been life-changing when you are constantly looking after her, and you don’t need to worry. It’s still strange for me to leave her, when you have a disabled child you think about the 100 things that could happen if I’m not there.”

Without the Outreach team, Liga says life would be ‘bad’. She describes them as ‘friends and family’. As well as home visits and professional care, they help her get to appointments. They also give Laila lots of cuddles, which she absolutely loves.

“She’s a fighter,” Liga said. “It’s changed our lives completely. Before I worried about paying the bills or about my hair getting wet. Now we live day-to-day and it’s a blessing.

“We couldn’t be without Acorns. There is literally no-one else, in all the community, that can offer this kind of support, not just for me, but for my partner, my son Davis and Laila.”

Liga added: “I was even too scared for her to go to a school, and they said they’d help her, and now every single month she goes to daycare for a whole day to help prepare.

“Thanks to Acorns I am looking forward to Laila going to school this year. It will be strange leaving her, and I can’t promise I won’t be sitting at the school gates and waiting for her to come out.”

When a family feels alone… help us reduce their isolation.

Support our Outreach Appeal today so no family ever feels alone when they are caring for a child with life limiting or life threatening condition.

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A boy and a little girl laying on a large swing. Both are smiling