Sophia’s story

“It’s all about fun and feels just like visiting family

Sophia is a little miracle. At two days old, she suffered a cardiac arrest in her father’s arms. For dad Samuel and mum Chantelle it was truly terrifying, and the first six months of their baby girl’s life was then spent in hospital.

“We had a really scary start with Sophia. We didn’t really know what was happening. We were panicked. The cardiac arrest starved her of oxygen and caused eight brain bleeds, so she was classed as severely brain damaged.”

Doctors discovered that Sophia had 11 heart defects, epilepsy and a condition called heterotaxy. This means that although she has all her organs, they are not in the right place and this causes lots of complications..

Sophia and her family were referred to Acorns and the the family has benefited from a whole range of services including stay and play groups, hydrotherapy and day care and both Chantelle and Samuel receive support through Acorns parents’ groups.

“Coming to Acorns is great for me too because I meet other parents. We all have very different stories, but they are all quite relatable. Until you’ve been through a journey like this, I don’t think you truly understand what it’s like.”

“It’s hard being ‘that’ mum, the one who is always worried about their child and has to keep an eye on them. At Acorns everyone understands and will talk to you about what’s going on with you. I feel like the normal mum for once when I’m here.”

Chantelle, Sophia’s mum

Like many other families, Acorns has also been supporting Sophia’s family during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the family have been strictly shielding for
their safety, Acorns has provided vital care packages and expert support over the phone through their Acorns Family Team Worker.

“There’s the real threat that we could potentially lose our daughter to Covid-19 which is just unbearable to think about and so fearful.

“At the start of lockdown, as we were self-isolating and shielding Sophia we couldn’t just pop to the shops, pop to the park or go and get a loaf of bread, or milk for breakfast. The delivery of food and toiletries is such a help, and having someone on the end of the phone if needed. It means a lot.

“Coming to Acorns was the best thing we ever did. I’m so happy when we’re here. This is definitely our happy place.”

Hear more from families like Sophia’s in our Impact report