29 Jun 2021

“Life is very fickle. We don’t know what life holds for us. Particularly for us, this came out of the blue. It changed all of our lives in a split second and RMHC Sydney was here for us. They provided something that no one else provides and that was that human connection, support and just made this emergency in our life much more manageable.” Louis

This is something that we often hear in the House. One moment, one accident or one diagnosis, turns the life of a family upside down. 15-year-old Louie was in his hometown near Goulburn, when an accident left him with a subdural haematoma and multiple skull fractures. Louie had to have part of his skull removed to relieve the pressure on his brain. Louie’s life was in the hands of his doctors.

Like any parent would, for the next two weeks, Louie’s dad Louis sat by Louie’s bedside at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick in the Intensive Care Ward 24/7, barely moving from there. Occasionally he’d sneak a meal from the ward, but he knew that’s where he needed to be. He received a call, that a spot had become available at RMHC Sydney and that a corporate group had cooked breakfast. He was invited to come down and join them.

“I was just overwhelmed,” said Louie. “But when I came down here for that first real breakfast, it was like all the stress of that morning washed off me. I was so gracious in just being able to sit down and have a really good breakfast and relax. I ate the breakfast and I shared a couple of stories with a few of people here and then I went back up to the ward with Louie again. It was just the break I needed.”

For groups that come and join our Home For Dinner Program, which includes options for breakfast, dinner and baking experiences, it’s difficult to imagine the impact that they actually make. Whilst it looks and feels like just a meal and a chat, the effect for families is so much more profound.

As Louie started to heal, he too came and stayed at the House in Randwick with his dad, and when we asked him the best thing about the House…… “the Thursday night CEO dinner. Everyone was there and it was like a family. Especially again with the breakfast on Friday morning, it was really like a community. Just having a community of people to talk with and share how you are feeling.”

Louis added, “It was like human connection. That’s what it did. It provided for people who were having a really difficult time in their life, to be connected in some way and human connection is the thing that sort of brings us all together.”

Louie still has a long way to go with his recovery, but his future is looking bright. Neuroplasticity in young people allows for new pathways to make new connections in the brain. The hope is that Louie will make a full recovery and when he grows up, Louie wants to be a nurse.

If you have a workplace that is looking to make a difference in the lives of people like Louie and Louis, we still have spots available for our Corporate Volunteering Program. Get a team together, cook a meal and help create the community and human connections that make a family’s journey to recovery, a little bit easier. Contact Jody if you have further questions