Calvin and Maureen speak about their Richard House journey

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Calvin has been coming to Richard House since he was a baby. Mum, Maureen, said: “When Calvin was born I had nobody to help me until Richard House. Their support was life-changing for Calvin and my family.”

Now 12, he has complex health needs and a life-limiting illness and is dependent on numerous medications and equipment. His mum, Maureen, has always desperately wanted Calvin to gain his independence and live his life to the full like other children.

“I can really see the difference Richard House has made, he is so grown up now. Despite having two major operations in the past two years, meaning he needs medical attention every few hours, Richard House has helped him develop a greater sense of independence, and he has the opportunity to live a full life”.

Let’s hear from Maureen about their journey…

“We have been coming to Richard House for 12 years now, Richard House understands Calvin’s medical needs, and they help him gain an understanding of what they are too”. At Richard House there is a booklet outlining what Calvin’s medical needs are.Calvin believes in himself regardless of what operations he has.

At Richard House they treat him for who he is. The local community have made him feel like an outsider, but at Richard House he is free of those barriers and the activities he gets up to are limitless. Calvin is always talking about getting involved in activities such as bowling and football at the hospice.

As his mother most of my time is spent being his career due to his condition and so I am grateful that although we may not be able to do as many activities together, he does not miss out as he is able to obtain that from Richard House.I can really see the difference Richard House has made, he is so grown up now.

Despite having two major operations in the past two years, he has the confidence and is independent enough to call Julie from the care team and ask ‘when am I next booked in for respite stay?’, this means the world as he cannot pick up the phone and communicate with others within the community because of the barriers he faces from the outside world.

The result of his operations have meant that he needs medical attention every 2-3 hours BUT Richard House have helped him develop a greater sense of independence despite this.

He has the opportunity to live a full life.I will never forget when I was told that Calvin called a meeting at Richard House and all the nurses and every member of staff available attended, for an arm wrestle. The independence he showed, the attentiveness and effort the staff made, just made my day.

He always talks about the time he watched the world cup at Richard House and England was winning. To see the staff cheering the players on and just being themselves around Calvin meant the world.

When Calvin stays in respite I know he is safe and being well looked after. Respite gives me the time to catch up on much needed rest as I don’t get much of this, as I am constantly caring for Calvin. Where else would I get this kind of support? You won’t find that anywhere else.

Calvin was recently the mascot for West Ham United at their Richard House awareness match. It’s a day he will never forget and had such fun.

Richard House has helped me, legally emotionally, provided moral support and more, and that is only half of some of the support they have shown me alone, let alone my son Calvin. His sibling has grown up in the siblings groups too and this has helped a lot in terms of their understanding, it’s very important and much needed.”