“When we heard the story about how incredible everyone was and how they managed to find someone willing to donate their Bugaboo Donkey, both our team and the family were absolutely overwhelmed. Mum and Dad were extremely grateful – it has given them the freedom they needed, whilst keeping their baby safe. We would like to thank absolutely everyone who was involved in this donation.”
Kate – Community Nurse, CHAH, Croydon
Every so often we receive a very special request which we can’t fulfil from what we already have in stock. But it’s these types of requests which really demonstrate the kindness of people and the power of Team Stork – our collective ability to get things done, and thus make a big difference to people’s lives.
This was the case back in June 2020 when we were contacted by Kate, one of the Croydon Children’s Hospital at Home (CHAH) nurses, who had a family in the most desperate need of a very specific type of double buggy. The family had baby twins and one of the babies needed a tracheostomy to enable them to breath. A pram system with a side basket was recommended by the hospital staff, essential to be able to carry the heavy ‘must have’ medical equipment which would need to accompany them everywhere.
The twin buggy they had already purchased through already stretched finances was now unsuitable, so we were asked if we could help. We quickly set to work.
We understood the urgency, the twins needed to be discharged from hospital but would be unable to do so until they were mobile. The parents were extremely worried about how they would manage to leave the house going forward; they were now a three child family and with one of the twins’ complex needs, it was unimaginable to them how they would cope. But they were keen to begin their new normal – getting ‘out and about’ in the fresh air and being able to make those all-important outpatient appointments.
We promptly posted this buggy request on our social media channels, hoping one of our followers had, or knew someone who may have, this type of buggy which they wanted to go to a good home. The best home in fact.
The Facebook post alone was shared 153 times and reached 15,679 people! We always knew that Team Stork would do all they could and they didn’t disappoint! One of the shares was from a Reigate resident, which was seen by a friend in Oxfordshire. The Cook family got in touch to say how they would love to donate their pre-loved Bugaboo Donkey – the perfect buggy in this situation. Once needed by them under very similar circumstances, they appreciated the expense of such an item and this family’s plight.
Logistics were next on the list. Arranging a courier was proving complex, with timings and a lack of suitable packaging. But Ann, one of our regular volunteers from Horley Tangent and an absolute superstar, was enthused to drive from Surrey and collect the pram. She’s always one of the first to put her hand up for a special mission and this time was no exception. Mission accepted, Ann was on the case!
It was heart-warming to see that the donor family had thoughtfully slipped in a sealed card with the lovingly packed pram. They wanted to send a personal message to the recipient family which we thought was such a lovely gesture.
On returning to the warehouse, it was given one of our buggy MOT’s by the lovely Graham. The inner tubes were replaced to ensure a smooth ride and the brakes checked for safety; in no time at all it was sparkling like new.
As with all our donations, if a mattress is required we replace with a new one in compliance with safety regulations. We did some research and with it being a high-end brand, it was going to cost over £100 to replace both carrycot mattresses. One supplier which came up in our research was Natural Baby Shower – who happen to be one of our fabulous charity partners. We contacted them to see if they could help in any way and true to form, that very same day they arranged for two new mattresses to be shipped to us, as a gift from them. They were only too pleased to help and actually thanked us for reaching out to them – a business with a heart, we think they are amazing!
Within one week of receiving the request, the much-needed buggy was delivered by CHAH to the family, who were eternally grateful and couldn’t believe their teary eyes. The message from the donor family made this act of kindness all the more meaningful and gave them the strength they needed, knowing that they weren’t alone on this journey.
We are pleased to report that baby and family are doing well. We held off publishing this story at the time as unfortunately they ended up back in hospital with a complication, but they are now back home under the excellent care of the CHAH team. We wish them all the best for the future.
Thank you to everyone who pulled all the stops to ensure this special request was fulfilled and this family’s needs were answered.