A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with real proper flu.
The kind where you can’t even get out of bed.
It came completely out of the blue and its ferocity took me by surprise.
First world problem, I know, and I’m a bit ashamed that I felt uncharacteristically sorry for myself. It’s amazing just how quickly you can feel separated and out of touch as the world carries on without you. I felt very lonely.
Shock, Fear and Loneliness
Thankfully, for me, this was just a brief unhappy interlude that gave me time for reflection and to think about the families that we work with. This Christmas we estimate there will be over 100,000 children in hospital. Illness really can take us by surprise, at any age. Along with their family members, these children are very likely to be coping with shock, fear, anxiety, exhaustion, and the profound loneliness of being in a different, unfamiliar space while the world really does just carry on around them.
For our founder, Emma Samms, it was the experience of being at her brother Jamie’s hospital bedside that inspired her to set up Starlight. It’s why families are central to all that we do.