A mum’s dream of seeing her two-year-old boy Theo swim has come true thanks to the hard work of staff at Hope House Children’s Hospice.
Laura Williams, from Wrexham, has always dreamed her little boy Theo would be able to one day go swimming, something which has seemed out of reach since he was born.
But Laura asked the physio team at Hope House to investigate how Theo could get to swim and after lots of research, working with Theo’s consultant at Alder Hey and purchasing a specialist swimming suit, Theo was able to get in hospice’s hydrotherapy pool with his mum and sister Esmae, 5.
“It was like I was still living in that dream,” said Laura, 26. “Theo really enjoyed it, he was just smiling away and giggling. I was just so happy to be able to have that moment and memory with my children. This would not have happened without Hope House.”
Theo was born with a kidney disease, renal failure and had a bleed on the brain. He spent a lot of his early life confined to hospital with Laura during the pandemic.
“I was introduced to the staff at Hope House who were incredible for us,” said Laura. “Whether it was helping care for Theo, being there for me to talk or helping with practical things like doing washing, they were there for us.”
Theo needs a dialysis catheter for his kidneys, meaning in normal circumstances he would not be able to go swimming due to infection risk. But Hope House staff worked hard to find a solution and were able to purchase a Hammond swimming suit for Theo which is sealed against the skin at the neck, elbows and above the knees to keep his medical lines dry.
Other children like Theo will also be able to use the suit in the future if they need it.
“I couldn’t believe it when they called me to say they’d been able to get a suit that would allow us to get in the pool with Theo,” said Laura.
“I take each day as it comes with Theo and everything we do is a memory. We don’t know what the future holds, but this was a moment I could cherish, being in the pool with my children.”
Emma Wyatt, Clinical Therapies Lead at the hospices said: “Hydrotherapy can be hugely beneficial to children like Theo, and that is why we worked hard to get him this suit. It was a combined effort between our therapy professionals here at Hope House and community nursing staff. We did lots of research on the benefits and safety aspects so that Theo’s consultant would approve us using the suit.
“It can help with cardiorespiratory function and can help slow down chronic kidney disease progression while also helping to increase strength and movement.
“It was amazing to see Theo in the pool and glad that the team here at Hope House could make this happen. It would also not be possible without the amazing support we get from those who fundraise for us throughout the year.”
Hope House is only able to be here for children and families likes Theo’s thanks to generous donations. There are many ways in which people can support the charity, such as making a regular donation, playing the weekly lottery or holding a fundraising event.