In a year where we’ve all had our fair share of doom and gloom, you can bring joy and laughter into families homes this Christmas.

Laura and Al’s son Archie was born prematurely at 23 weeks, severely deprived of oxygen. He has since been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and due to the severity of his condition it is unlikely that he will reach adulthood. He spent the first 11 months of his life in hospital where they almost lost him a number of times.

Finally, after 2 life saving operations and almost a year of riding the emotional rollercoaster, they were able to bring their baby boy home – just in time for his first birthday. At long last they could be a proper family.

However, their journey was only just beginning. The transition from hospital to home was really tough. They didn’t know how to do it with such an unwell child – Archie was still attached to many wires for monitoring, he was fed via a feeding tube, had a tracheostomy to help him breathe, and was still on oxygen 24/7.

“Thankfully Jessie May had been coming to visit us in hospital, to support us, since Archie was 6 months old.”

Laura McArthur, Archie’s Mum

Your support meant that Jessie May could help with getting Archie home and settled, and provide Laura and Al with lots of information about their community, and services that could lend their support. “Most importantly though, they would arrive with a huge bag of colourful toys. Coming home to find him draped in a bright pink feather boa, having the time of his life is one visit we will never forget!”, says Laura.

“I’ll never forget that sight, I felt like he was so loved.”

Archie is such a calm, happy and loving boy. He adores playing and cuddles, especially playing with chimes and bells. When his Jessie May Nurse walks through the door, Archie is going to have the best time.

When his Jessie May Nurse walks in and picks him up straight away, that’s Archie’s happy place.

Life for Archie and his family can feel isolating and restrictive at the best of times, but the global pandemic this year has hugely magnified it for them. Supporting Archie’s needs 24 hours a day certainly takes its toll but the respite from Jessie May has helped put big smiles back on their faces and allowed us to take some much needed time to relax from the relentlessness of everyday life.

“Jessie May bring joy and laughter into our home. When I wake up and realise it’s a day that they’re visiting, I’m just as excited as Archie.

Jessie May Nurses are our everyday angels and we couldn’t imagine life without them, but they only exist because of people like you who support the charity, which means that you are so important to our family. Thank you.”

Like all charities, times are challenging for our service. Please donate to Jessie May this Christmas, and you can bring some joy to the homes of others like Laura, Al and Archie.