Phone Number

01224 643327

Email Address

admin@archway.org.uk

Thelma – An Archway Mum


Our daughter Lesley was born prematurely at 28 weeks. She was one of triplets (although I hadn’t known I was expecting triplets at the time). Sadly her two brothers died shortly after birth. Lesley was in the special nursery for 3 months. Deprived of oxygen at birth, she had suffered brain damage.

Our Story of Archway

We were told she would be different from other children. I took her home thinking I would be able to bring her on by myself – and besides, we weren’t offered any help, advice or support. But by the time she was 18 months old and unable to sit up by herself, talk, walk or do anything a toddler of that age can usually do, I realised just how serious her condition was and that she would probably need life-long care.

Lesley is now 50, I am 75 and my husband is 80, but we still put Lesley first and our lives still revolve around her. She stills needs the same care she did when we took her home – help to wash and dress and to eat.

She needs to be escorted everywhere – inside and outside as she has epilepsy and can have a seizure at any time. We still do her washing, cook for her and clean for her! She loves music and being in company so we make sure she has a great social life taking her to concerts and musical nights – it’s exhausting but fun. Her older sister Shona and younger brother, Kenneth, and her niece and nephew are also very good including her in all kinds of activities that she really enjoys.

"For us it has been an absolute godsend. I am so confident that she is happy and well cared for that I don’t have to worry about her and for just a few days my husband and I can completely relax, talk to one another without any interruptions and give our grandchildren and great grandchildren our undivided attention. Lesley comes home happy and more confident having got so much out of her time at Archway and away from us!"

In 1983, through Enable I heard that a group of parents were getting together to look at setting up a charity that could provide respite care and got involved. That charity was Archway. Lesley has been going to Westburn Road since it opened in 1990 and I joined the Board of Directors as a family member to help ensure families continue to have a real say in how the charity is run. For us it has been an absolute godsend. I am so confident that she is happy and well cared for that I don’t have to worry about her and for just a few days my husband and I can completely relax, talk to one another without any interruptions and give our grandchildren and great grandchildren our undivided attention.

Lesley comes home happy and more confident having got so much out of her time at Archway and away from us! Lesley has brought a lot of joy into our lives and we wouldn’t want to be without her. Archway has helped us care for her so well up until now and we hope that when the time comes she will have a permanent home with Archway in the future.

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