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Hamish's Story


Look past all the medical equipment and you’ll see the adorable boy that we see, with a twinkle in his eye.

Touching words from Hamish’s mum, Cally, who explains how CHAS helps her and her family.

Our lives are a fine balance and it could tip at any moment. Without CHAS, we wouldn’t have that balance. The help I get isn’t something I want, it’s something I need. I feel I can keep going a bit longer, knowing that I’ve got a break coming up.

Hamish was born 14 weeks prematurely with cerebral palsy and severe dystonia. He has little voluntary movement and poor muscle tone, so he is very ‘floppy’. But when his muscles go into spasm, he becomes very rigid. He can’t control it and it’s very painful for him.

When he was seven, he was very unwell and spent a long time in hospital. One night he stopped breathing altogether and we discovered he had serious respiratory difficulties. It was terrifying. He now has a tracheostomy in his windpipe and is on a ventilator machine 24 hours a day to support his breathing.

Hamish is 13 now and he gives so much back. He’s very bright and has a great sense of humour, but he needs care 24 hours, non-stop, from specially trained carers. We’re on alert all the time. The ventilator could stop working or his tracheostomy could get blocked.

When CHAS at Home come to visit us at home, I can completely relax. The care is exceptional and staff are specially trained with his ventilator. Hamish loves it, they know him and his sense of humour, so they’ll bring games they know he’ll enjoy or take him out to places like Deep Sea World. One time my husband and I were able to go out to the cinema and have something to eat – it was so lovely.

When we visited Rachel House it opened up a new world to us. It gives us opportunities to do things we couldn’t do otherwise. We have two younger boys and a lot of the time Hamish is unwell and one of us needs to stay at home, so we can’t do family stuff.

At Rachel House we can be a family – just being together, having a nice meal together or trips out. Findlay and Rory love it, they play with other siblings and both their interests are covered.

The quality of nursing care is very high, so Hamish is well looked after at Rachel House. I give so much, but now and again I need a break so I can feel better, ready to give it out again.

I know I can pick up the phone anytime to CHAS. I don’t know what I’d do without it. So when people give money to CHAS, whatever they put in, I get so much more back – not in monetary value, but in the quality of care for my family. 

Help families like Hamish's by giving just £3 a month - all you need to do is fill in this Direct Debit form and post it to us. Direct Debit form 0713

Or you can donate online by clicking here.

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