That Thursday, like so many other days, is indelibly imprinted on my mind.
Our Belfast consultant had previously informed me that Leah’s medical details had been sent to the paediatric haematology team at Bristol Children’s Hospital and that they would be discussing her case that day at a team meeting, with a view to possibly accepting her for treatment.
I hated the thought of being so far away from home, but I had done my online research into the hospitals in Dublin, Belfast and Bristol. I had become increasingly convinced that Leah’s best chances of survival, humanly speaking, lay in her being accepted for treatment at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
I spent most of that Thursday afternoon quietly praying.
At 7.20pm our Belfast haematology consultant phoned me to inform us that Bristol Children’s Hospital had indeed accepted Leah for treatment. I was so relieved and so pleased.
Our first phone call from this doctor on Friday the 19th April had been such a negative experience.
Our first meeting with him had been even worse, but in this phone call I started to see him for the caring, compassionate man that he really is.
I eventually chased him off the phone, as I was sure that the poor man had probably not even had his dinner yet. He had given me all the time that I needed in this phone call.
The fourteen weeks that Leah and I spent in Bristol changed our lives forever.
Some of those changes are very sad, traumatic ones.
I hardly know how to word this, because I will NEVER be glad that my daughter suffered and died, yet I can still appreciate the many positive aspects of our time in Bristol.
I very much appreciate the amazing staff and patients and families that Leah and I met during our time there.
Although I’m heartbroken, yet I’m also enriched, by those that I’ve had the privilege of getting to know along this journey.