Starla’s Story

Starla 2Our adorable Starla arrived in the world much earlier than expected. We had travelled to Bristol for a 28 week growth monitoring scan, but when doctors found her heart was struggling they sent me for an emergency caesarean and I didn’t return home for weeks.

Starla was admitted straight to Neonatal Intensive Care. She was so small and her life was precarious. Luckily we were offered a room at Cots for Tots so we could always be near her. But we worried about our elder sons, so after a month decided to return home and travel up from Weston every day. We struggled with travel costs though, and Lee wasn’t able to work, so we contacted the Martha Care Family Support Service having seen their posters. Martha Care Worker Bobby came up to see us and was able to refer us for a Family Fund grant which was a life line.

Starla was diagnosed with Timothy Syndrome, a rare condition, and she kept going into heart block. It was good to talk things through with Bobby on her regular visits and she kept in touch by text too. When Starla had a pacemaker fitted she spent time on Paediatric Intensive Care and Bobby continued to support us there.

Having her still in hospital at Christmas was such a difficult time, we were so torn. We didn’t want to miss our son’s nativities, but didn’t want to leave Starla either.

Starla 1Finally she was well enough to be transferred to the Cardiac ward for the last few weeks before discharge. Her condition means that she will always have a lot of health needs and Bobby was able to help us apply for the relevant benefits and signpost us to community support.

Starla is now doing well, but has numerous appointments and overnight stays. Bobby always makes time to check how we are doing and we know we can always contact her for advice. It really helped that we felt cared for, and still do.