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St Oswald’s Children’s Service provides a specialist short break service to children and young adults with progressive, life-shortening conditions.
Sean Gallagher, aged 5 from Dumpling Hall, Newcastle, has been coming to St Oswald’s Children’s Service for around a year. His Mum, Sonia and Dad, Sean have another son, Daniel, aged 4.
Sonia explains: “We were referred to St Oswald’s by Sean’s community nurse about a year ago. Sean has severe Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and is blind and deaf. Sean doesn’t sleep very well, often waking several times in the night, leaving us all really tired in the mornings. Giving Sean the care he needs is very tiring, mentally and physically, so having him visit the Hospice for short breaks of 4 days every 8 weeks is a godsend to us. It means we can spend some one on one time with our other son, Daniel. We take him to the beach or to soft play, normal things which are difficult to do when Sean is with us.”
Sonia continues: “Coming to St Oswald’s is like a little holiday for Sean too. He loves the music therapy sessions and enjoys being around all the staff and getting lots of cuddles. The staff are amazing with him, I always call in the morning to see how he slept and they reassure me he is fine! I know I can trust them to look after Sean as if he is their own child.”