Our daughter Jennifer was born with a rare genetic disorder causing her blood vessels to be weak. Because of this when she was born she had a stroke. This left her with a large cyst on her brain. Hemiplegia, complex epilepsy, cataracts and learning difficulties are just a few of the difficulties she has developed since.
Our Story of Archway
This left her with a large cyst on her brain. Hemiplegia, complex epilepsy, cataracts and learning difficulties are just a few of the difficulties she has developed since.
Jennifer requires help with most daily activities and routines and can’t be left unsupervised due to the risk of having a seizure. She can have severe mood swings and anxiety. A large part of our family life is taken up with meeting her needs and the never-ending hospital and clinic appointments.
Jennifer is however first and foremost a very caring, chatty and sociable girl who can be shy but loves nothing better than laughing and talking to people she knows well. She is amazingly brave and determined to try everything she can.
We love Jennifer dearly, however, life at times can be very hectic, challenging and frustrating for us all.
That changed when someone from Archway told us that respite was there to prevent a crisis, it was to allow us the break we desperately need, to spend time with our other daughter Sarah, and do things that are restricted to us as a whole family. Mainly to recharge our batteries and be able to continue looking after Jennifer they way we do.
"Archway has simply become a lifeline to us. Respite was a difficult thing for us to get our heads round and we wouldn’t consider it for years. We felt that Jennifer was our responsibility alone, we thought that respite was just for families who had hit a crisis. "
Needless to say, we have never looked back. Archway is a truly fantastic service. It allows Jennifer access to respite nights away from home, giving us the security to know that even though she is away from us staff know her very well and can deal with any seizures or problems that she may have.
Most of all its fun, it’s great that Jennifer goes into respite with others that she knows so that they develop friendships and do lots of things together like going for lunch, going to the cinema, shopping and baking. Jennifer loves phoning to tell me what she has been up to.
Archway has created a superb home from home environment. As a family we feel safe and secure in the knowledge that Jennifer is being well looked after and being given the opportunities to develop her independence and make positive relationships outside her family circle.
We are a happy family – thanks to these very important respite breaks.