The fear that every parent silently harbours from the moment of conception until the end of time.
Never in their wildest nightmares could a parent fathom what it means for their beautiful child to face aggressive chemotherapy as their school-friends sit their end of year exams.
But, from the moment 13-year-old Teagan Ferguson’s was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on December 12, 2015, that became the reality for The Fergusons.
While such an unforgiving diagnosis would be traumatic enough for any family to face, Teagan’s treatment was only available at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Over four hours away from their home in Wongarbon, regional New South Wales.
For months on end, the family was away from their immediate and extended family, from Teagan’s school-friends, and from the support network that could help them through the worst time of their lives.
Heartfelt Homes is a charity which utilises existing hotel and motel facilities to provide accommodation to the families of patients receiving treatment in hospital far away from home.
With thanks to the generosity of donors and corporate sponsors, Heartfelt Homes keeps families facing medical crisis together at a time they need each other the most.
Some families need ongoing support due to children receiving cancer treatments, others need just one night for emergency treatment for burns or other serious injuries.
Whatever their requirement – the priority of Heartfelt Homes is to keep families together.
When we got the call to say that Teagan and her mum-of-five, Sue, needed somewhere close to the hospital to stay while they were going through her arduous treatment, we were thankful that we could say YES to them.
Teagan during agressive treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Yes, we could provide a safe place to stay, and yes, we could give them one less thing to worry about as Teagan endured an illness that no adult should have to go through, let alone a child.
But we could only say yes to this family because of the ongoing financial support provided by our donors and corporate sponsors.
In the past year, Sue and her family have used the Heartfelt Homes service gor a total of 29 night’s while they deal with the cruel reality of childhood cancer, and the financial pressures that accompany such a serious illness.
“Without Heartfelt Homes, we wouldn’t be able to afford the accommodation. We would like to thank Heartfelt Homes donors from the bottom of our hearts for helping us. Thank you.” Susanne Ferguson, Teagan’s mother.
And, sadly, Teagan’s story is not unique.
In 2017 alone, Heartfelt Homes helped a further 94 families by providing them with accommodation near to major hospitals throughout Australia including The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Liverpool Hospital.
Almost two years’ after Teagan’s diagnosis, including a bone marrow transplant from devoted sister, Rebecca, we hope and pray that the family has reached her destination as far as cancer is concerned.
Just before Christmas, we received an absolutely wonderful message from mum, Sue, “Teagan’s bone marrow biopsy has come back clear!”
We couldn’t be more thrilled for our Heartfelt family and wish them all the best for a long and healthy future together.
THANK YOU to everyone who donates to Heartfelt Homes to help us keep families facing medical crisis far away from home together.
We can’t do it without you.