WHEN little Frazer Orr suddenly stopped breathing and underwent emergency surgery to save his life, it meant more than just hospital bedside visits for his mum, dad, brother and sister.
At just five weeks old, the Livingston lad was diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition and had to be rushed into the operating theatre.
The tot was so seriously ill that he was placed in a medically-induced coma at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh before being transferred for specialist care in Glasgow, where he had two operations.
Medics had discovered Frazer’s aorta – the largest artery in the body – had two branches surrounding his windpipe which were severely affecting his breathing.
The double aortic arch had damaged his windpipe and caused Frazer to suffer from a condition known as bronchomalacia, meaning he required surgery to create a hole to help him breathe and needed to be ventilated.
When he was two, Frazer was moved to London’s renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital where he eventually underwent a six-hour op to give him the chance of a normal life.
But the switch south left his parents, Sandy and Kirsty, facing a dilemma,
And that’s when the Sick Children’s Trust stepped in with an offer of accommodation under their “Home from Home” scheme which gives relatives a place to stay while a loved one is being treated.
Now the Trust has received a shot in the arm in the form of a £10,950 donation from Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation, giving other families the same comfort shown to the Orrs. Sandy said: “The operation was a risky procedure requiring Frazer to have both a heart and lung bypass.
“We were told this could take 12 hours, but six hours later my phone rang. I held my breath – amazingly Frazer’s surgery was over without any complications. Frazer was to be kept in an induced coma for the next few days and this was when we needed the charity the most.”
He added: “During this time, the escapes to the house enabled us to return to Frazer’s bedside afresh, ready to help look after him.
“Guilford Street House wasn’t just somewhere to lay our tired heads after spending hours every day camped at his bedside; it was where we could prepare and eat meals and support and be supported by other families staying in the house whose children were also very ill in hospital.”
Claire Drummond, Head of Charitable Giving for Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “The Sick Children’s Trust makes all the difference to these children, their parents and siblings – nothing is more important than keeping a family together during such difficult times.”
She added: “It is through such dedication that these families can have moments of respite as well as practical and emotional support to help them cope whilst their child receives treatment.”