Let’s make a noise for Charlie
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 chords.
The only solution was for Charlie to undergo a tracheostomy. This means Sophie never hears him laugh or cry.
It also means adult supervision, day and night. Eyes on that tube because any blockage will be fatal.
After months of being in hospital 24/7 the family were so excited to have him home. Unfortunately their 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.
Currently Charlie and the carer are in the living room, using the only communal space the family have.
So here comes the family’s big catch 22. They need a three bedroom property. They cannot afford to rent or buy one.
Because they live in a housing association part buy/part rent flat, despite only having a minimal amount in equity, their mortgage rules them out of any local authority help. The medical situation makes 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 is to privately rent a more suitable property, however they do not have the extra money needed to do so.
When we heard Charlie's story we knew we had to do something to help. We wanted to support his mother Sophie who has worked for a number of companies in our industry.
And so we took an appeal to The Travel Convention to raise £15,000 which would cover the shortfall the family faced in order to move and rent for the next two years.
The support we received was overwhelming and a fantastic £16,350 was raised. Thank you so much to all who donated, you really have made a difference to this family.