“We like to think that in those two months, he knew he was very much adored by us.”
Born 23 weeks prematurely, Sawaan developed water on his brain and was given up from birth as a result of his disabilities. “I guess his mother felt she couldn’t cope.”
Judy first saw him in hospital when he was a two month old baby “he was absolutely adorable, but we didn’t feel we could take him.” Hope Home decided they could not afford the extra staff needed to care for a child in hospital.
By five months, his carers told Judy that he was doing much better and rarely visited hospital. Judy took him in to her own home because he still needed a lot of medical care.
“He stayed with me because none of our children would’ve had any sleep with our oxygen machine beeping!” Judy and the staff at Hope Home took him in and out of hospital for regular surgery to drain the fluid from his head. She became very close to Sawaan as his head continued to grow.
One day his shunt disappeared and he was rushed into surgery, “I signed a form accepting that he might not make it,” Judy tells me. To everyone’s surprise he survived with a new shunt in place.
She had been due to take Sawaan to hospital the next day when he developed a fever in the night. “In the morning I checked on him before I went for my shower, he was fine and when I came out, he was dead.”
The nearest hospital failed to revive Sawaan after 45 minutes. Judy and the staff members were devastated, especially those that cared for him at Judy’s house.
Sawaan was seven months when he died. “We like to think that during those two months, he knew he was loved and cared for which he was.” Judy feels that she gave Sawaan the best they could, but sadly he did not make it.
“He was a happy little boy, he giggled, was actually quite mobile and advanced for his age he was already making little sounds and things, I think he could’ve spoken.”
The main remit of Hope Home is to take children who have the potential to develop with a view that they can be adopted or fostered more easily.
However, Judy explains that because of her medical background as a nurse for terminally ill children she is happy to take in children like Sawaan. “Knowing that probably they won’t make it is difficult but it’s nice to be able to give them a quality of life.”