A nurse at Durham Hospital introduced Dale and Beth Newton to Zoe’s Place when their Son Sonny was admitted with a rare genetic and neurological condition called GM1 Gangliosidosis.
Shortly after admission Dale & Beth received the devastating news that Sonny’s life expectancy would be 2 to 4 years and after many hospital admissions, they were introduced to Zoe’s Place.
For Sonny’s parents the thought of going into a baby hospice was incredibly daunting but on arriving for the first time, they said they could not have been made to feel any more at ease. They said, “The setting was beautiful, fully equipped to meet the needs of every child and looked exactly like a nursery. You could see the place was full of love and laughter. The staff were so welcoming, showing us around each room taking a great interest in Sonny and what he liked and disliked”.
“We started to receive counselling through Zoe’s and Sonny was looked after in the hospice while we had this. I felt scared and nervous taking Sonny for his first session, worrying about how he would be and if they wold know what he needed.”
Because of Sonny’s complex needs and condition, he had never been left with care providers before; only briefly, with close family and friends so like so many of our families this was a big step for both parents. Beth said, “The staff were amazing and made me feel so relaxed. I could see they truly cared for him and enjoyed having him in their care. I would arrive back for my counselling session to find he’d slept in their arms or he was having fun in the sensory room, had made pictures to bring home etc.”
For Dale, Beth and their family some of their darkest days were spent here at Zoe’s Place yet the care and support that they received during their time here was a lifeline. The family said, “Ashleigh and the nursing team went above and beyond, nothing was too much for them they are truly amazing and we honestly can’t thank the staff enough. Zoe’s is a place where we will be entirely grateful to for their support, still to this day that support is there “
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