Amelia's story

Amelia is being pushed on a swing with someone older than her

Posted on: 11 Aug 2023

Amelia Smithson, aged one, was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Nottingham Children’s Hospital on 22nd February 2023, after attending ED with breathing difficulties. She was immediately intubated and heavily sedated for two weeks.

Amelia is now able to breathe on her own, and is slowly being weaned off her medications, but hospital staff are continuing to investigate what caused her breathing problems.

Two images show Amelia as a happy toddler. She is wearing her dad hat in one and the other she is cuddling with a teddy bear

Amelia before she was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit

Three weeks later, Amelia is still on PICU, and her parents have been able to stay close by the whole time, in the parent and family accommodation which was funded through Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Big Appeal.

Mum Leah Thompson said: “It’s amazing to have this room so close by. We just wouldn’t want to leave Amelia and go home. If we’re needed in the night then we’re right here, and if she’s upset then we can be straight there to cuddle and console her.”

Leah says having a room in the parent and family accommodation has been a huge comfort to her and partner Marc. The rooms were refurbished in 2019 thanks to £500,000 raised through Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Big Appeal.

Two side by side images of Amelia. One you can see she has a breathing tube coming out of her mouth. The second she is being kissed on the cheek by her mum

Amelia is still being treated for on PICU

The accommodation includes bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens for families whose children are being cared for on the wards at Nottingham Children’s Hospital.

Leah said: “Having the kitchen there to make a drink, and being able to make our own food while we’re here makes such a difference. It’s like a home from home.”

Leah says it’s also an opportunity to bond with other parents whose children and being cared for on the wards: “We’ve met some lovely families while we’ve been staying here, and this accommodation has made a huge difference for them – some have come from as far as Coventry, Lincoln and Sheffield. It’s so important for them to be able to stay close to their children rather than travelling all that way to and from hospital every day.

“The staff at the Children’s Hospital have been amazing, and it’s made such a difference to be able to stay so close to Amelia this whole time.”

Donate to the Big Appeal today

Keep up to date

Sign up to our newsletter to keep in the loop about fundraisers, stories, news and more from Nottingham Hospitals Charity.

Subscribe to our email