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Eleven years later: Noah's story

August 13, 2021

Guest blogger: Deborah, Noah’s mum

We stayed in the Brighton House for seven months in 2009 when our son, Noah, was born at 23 weeks and six days, weighing 660g.

Nothing prepares you for having an extremely premature baby.

We had some terrifying moments for many months before Noah was finally able to come home.

We didn’t live in Brighton and our home was over an hour away. When we were told about the Ronald McDonald House Brighton, we felt it was the best choice for us to be close to Noah. I was able to be with my son every day and my husband commuted to work in London from Brighton.

Noah underwent life-saving operations in the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London for two months as well and we were able to stay in the old Ronald McDonald House there too!

Being in the House just felt safe and was such a comfort in the scariest time of our lives. Everything we needed was there. House Manager Martin and House Keeper Madge were just brilliant. Being just over the road from the Trevor Mann Baby Unity (TMBU) were Noah was staying was incredible.

I have very vivid memories of our first few nights at the Brighton House and our interactions with another family. We were such a state of shock and could barely make a cup of tea, but this other couple who were many months down the line with their own premature baby miracle were able to comfortably chat with us and talked about their journey while they cooked their dinner.

At the time I couldn’t understand how they had resumed a semi-normal evening routine, but as time went on and Noah’s journey developed, I recalled their words and advice, and remember being so happy and hopeful when they were able to go home.

As the months passed and Noah remained in the TMBU we found we were the couple giving informal support to new parents arriving in the House. I believe this is why Ronald McDonald House Charities UK is such an amazing Charity for parents with children in hospital.

Being so close to Noah during his time in the TMBU enabled me to be with him every day. I was desperate to be involved in his care and although he was very sick at times and all I could was sit by him, it was enough just to be next to him. There was a telephone in our room and if the nurses called we could get to Noah within five minutes. Being so close had a positive impact on all of us.

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK is a place we never knew existed but became such an invaluable and important part of our lives and helped us through one of the most difficult times.

Noah has just finished Primary School and begins Secondary School in September. He is a happy, funny, tall and sporty 11-year-old.

For quite a few years, Noah remained under the care of consultants at the TMBU and the Speech and Language Department due to being diagnosed with Bulbar Palsy. He had a gastric tube up until he was four years old! However over time, he has overcome his swallow issues and now eats and drinks very well. He loves football, music, his PS4 and his Boxer dog Meryl and has the best sense of humour!

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