This is India. She is nearly twelve years old and has been under the care of Family Nursing & Home Care (FNHC) since the age of one.
India was born at 28 weeks, weighing 500 grams and was transferred to Southampton the next day. She has a few conditions: tracheomalacia, subglottic stenosis, chronic lung and no swallow. This means she requires a tracheostomy to breathe with, and occasional oxygen. Because of this she’s under palliative care, which sounds scary but it’s far from it.
India was finally home for the first time the day before her third birthday. As India needs 24 hour care and I’m a single parent, that’s hard to do. FNHC have provided carers to help me sleep so I can function quickly the next day to perform the various ways of maintaining her safe airway or to spot signs of distress with her breathing. They’ve also provided a school carer so that she can enjoy being with her peers at school.
The team doesn’t stop with looking out for India, they also check on me and make sure I’m okay and not burning myself out. FNHC is a joy the minute they enter our home. India loves the attention, as does the dog! FNHC, from the children’s team right through to the carers and support workers are so understanding.