Charlie’s Story

Charlie was born in May 2015 to loving parents Sophie and Scott. 

Soon after the birth doctors discovered that Charlie was born with a rare condition called bilateral vocal cord palsy, a condition that results in the paralysis of the vocal cords. The only solution was for Charlie to undergo a tracheostomy.

After months of being in hospital 24/7 the family were so excited to have him home. Unfortunately the couple’s two bed flat was deemed unsuitable for the new-born to return to. Not only were nurses concerned with the number of stairs to the flat, but they would not allow Charlie to share the only other bedroom with his sister. 

It is essential for Charlie to have a separate room. Not only is his breathing apparatus incredibly noisy and a major disturbance to his sister during the night, but the rules say the carer must be in a separate room with the baby. When he came home, Charlie and his carer were in the living room, using the only communal space the family had.

So here came the family’s big catch 22. They needed a three bedroom property. They couldn't afford to rent or buy one. 

Because they lived in a housing association part buy/part rented flat, despite only having a minimal amount in equity, their mortgage ruled them out of any local authority help. The medical situation made no difference. Even if they qualified, the waiting list is three years and Charlie should be able to have an operation in two years’ time to correct his airway. At that point they would be able to return to their own flat.

Their only option was to privately rent a more suitable property, however they did not have the extra money needed to do so. 

We took an appeal to our Travel Convention in October 2015 to raise £15,000 to cover the shortfall the family were facing to move and rent for the next two years.

Here we received an incredible amount of support and the target was reached.

Charlie and his family were able to enjoy their new home for Christmas. 

We are pleased to say that Charlie is now back home with his family and growing into a happy and healthy little boy. Following a successful decannulation, the Reynolds family’s lives have changed as they can spend more quality time with Charlie, who has even now learnt sign language. Being able to hear Charlie’s laugh, give his little neck a rest from the pain of the tracheostomy tube and bathe him are simple pleasures which Charlie’s mum Sophie tells us she loves.