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The Anderson Family, Waipukurau - Hawke's bay

Lochlan (Lochie) Anderson was born at just 28 weeks in August 2007, weighing a tiny 690gms. This was just the beginning of his struggles, at just 22 days old Lochie contracted viral meningitis resulting in a brain bleed, and consequently he was then diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in 2008.

Lochie’s solo mother Sarah faced an extensive medical journey with lochie, and in February 2009 this little family started a series of block rehabilitation courses at Auckland’s Conductive Education to get Lochie walking. Mum Sarah reflects proudly on Lochie’s great progress. “Since 2009 our journey has gone well – the improvements Lochie has made have been huge!”

Lochie and his mum stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Auckland on and off for seven years. Lochie’s last six week rehabilitation block was in May of 2012 as his rehabilitation programme had come to a successful close.

In the case of a single Mum like Sarah, caring for a child with a serious illness, there have been countless issues for her to consider. How will she pay for groceries? How can she afford to take weeks or months off from a job to put in the vital time and effort needed to assist her child’s rehabilitation? We welcome hundreds of Mums in similar situations, through our doors every year.

“As a single caregiver the emotional and financial journey can feel impossible at times. When there’s nothing anyone can do to change your child’s condition, it’s reassuring to know RMHC is there to help make life more bearable,” says Sarah, “ RMHC allowed me to focus all of my energy on my son and his care.”

RMHC has become a special part of this family’s life over the years. “Financially it’s been huge, and the staff provide an amazing family environment.” There are House families that Sarah has made special friendships with and has continued to keep in touch with. Sarah and fellow House mum Tina Thoresen even got together to give back to the House, holding a sausage sizzle fundraiser in Palmerston North!

Sarah and Lochie came to RMHC in August of 2015 for a quick check up as Lochie’s rehabilitation programme has come to an end. Lochie began school in the second part of 2012, which was both “exciting and scary” for Sarah. But they entered this next phase of Lochies life with strength and good spirits, thanks in part to the support they drew from their time at the House.

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