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In 2005,my wife went into labour at 24 weeks and our lives were turned upside down. Our local hospital was not equipped to deal with a premature baby of that gestation, and so my wife was rushed to Queen Charlotte & Chelsea Hospital near Hammersmith which has a fabulous neo-natal unit.  Our daughter Faith was born 2 days later weighing a mere 1lb 11 oz.  We were overjoyed when we heard Faith cry as she was born, but her young lungs were not strong enough and she required immediate ventilation.

As I’m sure you can imagine this was the most scariest time of our lives.  We knew that Faith was in the very best possible care, but we did not want to leave her side.  We were so very lucky that Queen Charlotte’s were able to offer us accommodation in their Ronald McDonald rooms.  We never even realised that there was such a thing, and over time we found out more about the Ronald McDonald rooms.  We were very fortunate to be able to stay with Faith in the family rooms for her first 7-days of life, but after then we had to return home, and then travelled to see her each day.  Unfortunately there are not enough rooms to cater for all the needs of parents, as Queen Charlottes looks after the most vulnerable babies, and sadly there are too many of them.

After 3 weeks of doing so well, Faith became very poorly.  She was diagnosed with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) which is an infection of the bowel, that caused her bowel to perforate in a number of places, and all the horrible stuff that is in the bowel escaped into the rest of her body.

She required major surgery and the removal of a large section of her bowel to save her life and spent the next 3 months with her bowel on the out side of her stomach emptying into a stoma bag, until she was strong enough to have the reversal operation.

As you can imagine, this was a very traumatic time for us all. The hospital staff at the Queens Charlotte and Chelsea hospital were fantastic and we owe them so much. We also need to give a huge thank you to the Ronald McDonald trust, because we were able to use their rooms again and again when Faith was very poorly.


RMHC - Ronald McDonald House Charities - is an independent charity providing free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families with children in hospital, helping to keep family units together and encouraging families to support one another through what can be an emotionally challenging time.

There are currently 12 Ronald McDonald Houses and 29 sets of Ronald McDonald Family Rooms across the UK, providing over 300 bedrooms a night for families to stay in. Plans are now in place to double this number in the next five years.

We can’t thank the staff of Queen Charlotte & Chelsea hospital enough, or the fantastic people at the Ronald McDonald Family Room Programme, who unknowingly helped us so much by allowing us to be with our daughter when we needed to be there the most.

Because of the experience we have been through, I am donating 2% of all profits from Big Bear Clothing and my fashion brand Pork Pie Clothing, to the Ronald McDonald Family Room Programme, which in my own small way will help them to continue their fantastic work.

Thank you for reading and I’m happy to say  our daughter Faith is growing healthily into a beautiful young lady. 

Anthony Potter

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