Eight month old Blake requires high dependency care. Here is his story...
Blake was a full term baby and was born completely healthy. Unfortunately at 18 days old he developed a serious infection called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) which severely affected his digestive system, causing damage to his bowel and intestine. Blake had to have an operation at the Evelina Children's hospital in London to have two thirds of his bowel removed. This meant his tiny body could not absorb any of the food or nutrients he needed to grow and he was a weak and poorly baby.
The surgery was successful however Blake's condition remains critical. Now eight months old, Blake is staying indefinitely at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton where his mum Denisa, anxiously waits for him to get strong enough to go home. While medical staff monitor his condition to make sure he receives the nutrition he needs, Blake has also been benefitting from regular Reiki therapy by Ali Walters from Active LightWorks, and her team.
Mum Denisa feels the therapy offers ongoing benefits for both her son and the family, she explains: “Reiki has been absolutely brilliant for Blake. Besides his digestion issues, he also has an ongoing problem with his left arm, which he cannot move properly. When therapist Ali is treating him, he seems to gain more movement in the joint because he is more relaxed. Blake always settles down beautifully after his sessions with Ali, and he loves the calm and peaceful interaction with the therapists. I love seeing Blake so settled and happy.”
Ali and the team also make sure they treat parents and carers where possible, as the long hours spent by a child’s bedside can be stressful and worrying for all concerned. Denisa looks forward to seeing Ali and receiving Reiki herself, she says: “I have been at the Alex, on the ward with Blake all day, every day since Mid-February (2015) and it’s now August. It is a tough time, sitting here watching and waiting for my little boy to get better. When I have Reiki therapy, I feel calmer while still in the hospital environment, which can be quite difficult…I think it is very important for children and babies to receive Reiki treatment while they are at the Alex. It is a calming therapy within a medical environment, and it relaxes both the child and their parents or carers. I see it as benefitting the whole family, not just the patient.”
Rockinghorse has recently provided funding to Ali from Active Lightworks and her team of Reiki therapists. The funding allows them to spend more time with young patients at the Alex, working alongside the paediatric team on the High Dependency Unit and providing a complementary therapy, in addition to the work of the nurses and doctors.