Kareema is mum to 11 year old Jayden, who has Lowe Syndrome. This causes Jayden to have developmental delay, epilepsy, limited vision and kidney failure and means he needs constant care.  

Kareema and Jayden have been using Richard House since he was 6 years old and prior to this the family were under a huge amount of strain. Kareema tells us that they had reached crisis point.  

At first Kareema thought using a hospice service meant she was giving up on her child and so was apprehensive at first, but soon realised it was the best thing she could have done – when Jayden visits Richard House he is safe, happy and looked after.  

At first it was quite difficult Jayden to get used to Richard House, because of his poor vision he smelt it and thought it was a hospital so would try running out. Kareema was able to stay in one of our family flats, which gave her peace of mind and enabled her to check on him, but still have a break from caring, which she really needed! Now Jayden loves his stays at Richard House and when he’s here, Kareema can spend valuable one on one time with Jayden’s younger brother.  

Richard House has also been there for Kareema and Jayden in emergency situations. When her Nan passed away Richard House stepped in to provide respite care so Kareema could attend the funeral.  

Jayden’s favourite part of the hospice is the sensory room, Kareema told us “he doesn’t even make it to his bedroom at Richard House before he asks to go in there. Sometimes we just come by to use the sensory room, or the gardens and the day room” As well as benefitting from sensory therapy, Jayden received music therapy too, giving him an opportunity to express himself and his emotions through playing music. It helps with Jayden’s communication skills and gives him an opportunity to be playful and you can see how much he enjoys it through his laughing and smiling. 

When we asked Kareema what her life would be like without Richard House, she told us “I don’t know how our family would cope. It would leave families like us in quite a bad way to be honest. We would find life a lot more difficult. Jayden’s condition is life-limiting, and knowing that we have somewhere safe and familiar for us to go through this experience with him makes such a difference. When I mention this to friends they say ‘don’t think like that’ but sadly when you have a child with a condition like Jayden you do have to think about their passing. Knowing that Richard House is there as a safety net to support us through it doesn’t take away the worry completely, it is still very difficult, but it does make it feel a lot less difficult.” 

Christmas last year was very challenging for Kareema’s family, but she thinks that this year will be even more difficult, financially and emotionally, especially after losing her dad during the pandemic. Families like Kareema’s rely on your generosity to be able to access Richard House services. 

You can make sure that Richard House won’t have to make cuts to these services, but supporting our Urgent Winter Appeal, so that all of the children like Jayden that they help will continue to be supported and their families create memories that they can cherish forever. 

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