During Covid-19 many families with seriously ill children had to shield for months on end for their child’s safety. This meant not being able to see friends, not going back to school when they reopened and not even being able to go outside. Too many families support networks diminished to nothing. 

This was the case for the family of 2-year-old Murshid. Because Murshid requires the use of a ventilator it was not safe for him to go outside during the pandemic as he was at significant risk of the virus. This was challenging for the whole family.  

However, help was at hand in the form of Richard House Play and Care Worker, Sukayna. Sukayna came into the family home at a time when she was needed most. During her visits she works to support Murshid’s clinical needs through massage, as his paralysis means he is unable to move by himself. She also comes up with creative activities to support his social development. Sensory play is a big part of their time together and he loves engaging with different textures and sounds. Sukayna came up with the idea of a sensory book for Murshid with foil, feathers and sponges - despite being non-verbal Murshid showed how much he loved this through changing facial expressions and laughter. 

And Sukayna not only supports Murshid, but the whole family. As his siblings struggled with not being able to spend time with their friends, in Sukayna they found someone they could talk to about everyday things and provided a connection to the outside world. She also showed them how to play with their brother and get involved with the activities she organised, enabling bonding between them and creating happy memories they can cherish forever.  

Sukayna does not just go into a home, deliver care, then leave; she becomes part of the family – as vital to the home as any of the permanent residents. She goes the extra mile, even helping Murshid to make a Mother’s Day card for his mum, using his handprint to create a flower – it bought a big smile to Mum, Ruwaisa’s face!  

During her visits Sukayna bounces ideas around with Ruwaisa and together they come up with ideas to aid his development – for example sitting him up at the dining table for messy play!  Ruwaisa said about Sukayna: 

“It is easy for me to talk to her. Hospice at Home has helped me a lot, Sukaynah organises plenty of sensory games for Murshid which help greatly with his development.” 

Through Hospice at Home Murshid’s mum is able to do everyday things, such as grocery shopping, housework or just get some fresh air. She is able to spend quality time with her other children and can do so safe in the knowledge that her son is being well cared for. When she returns, her son is always happy, mum told us “His mood improves with every visit” 

When we asked Ruwaisa what their life would be without Hospice at Home and Sukayna, she simply said 

“She has bought happiness to us as parents" 

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