The Muir Family Story

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Adam needed lifesaving treatment at just 5 weeks old

The Muir family’s story started on Sunday 15th of March 2020. Their son Adam was five weeks old when he started being sick and would not feed. Worried by this turn of events, David and Susan took Adam to the A&E in Dumfries. Doctors found that Adam had Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) – an abnormally fast heartbeat. This serious condition saw Adam admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) there.

Sadly, Adam’s condition worsened. During the night he went into cardiac arrest, and by Monday morning he was experiencing multiple organ failure. As the Muirs told us their story, David recalled receiving the terrible news: “He was in a very poorly way, and the doctors weren’t sure if he would survive at that stage, because he was so ill”.

A team of doctors and health professionals worked on Adam all day to get him stable enough for transport. The ScotSTAR team arrived from Glasgow to safely transport him to the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow. Adam’s mum and dad were not able to go in the ambulance with him. “He was blue light transported in an ambulance and Susan and I followed up in our car”, David told us.

Life had suddenly changed dramatically for the Muir family. Unbeknown to them, new restrictions were about to add an extra layer of stress and uncertainty to their situation, as all this happened just before the Covid-19 lockdown in mid-March 2020.

A room at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow

Thankfully, Adam’s mum and dad were able to get a room at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow. During the first week the couple did not want to leave Adam’s bedside. Their wee baby boy was so poorly that the doctors were not sure if he would pull through.

David told us “The first week was a bit of a daze but having the House to come to was great, even just to walk over for half an hour to clear your head and freshen up”.

The family were referred to the House just before the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. As the Charity worked hard to keep the families in the House free from Covid-19, difficult decisions had to be made. The Charity stopped taking in new families but remained open for the families already staying there, rather than shutting the doors to the House completely. However, visitors and other family members -including siblings – needed to stay away.

These changes were difficult for the families in the House. David went on to say, “being at Ronald McDonald [House Glasgow] as the lockdown started made it a bit more difficult, as we couldn’t bring our other two children up to visit or have family come up either”.

Measures taken to stay Covid-19 free at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow

As everyone across Scotland started to change the way they lived their lives to stay safe during the pandemic, the Charity made sweeping changes to keep the House Covid-19 free.

Automatic hand sanitisers were placed around the House. Signage to remind people to keep hands clean and follow one-way systems were put up throughout. Visitors were no longer permitted, and only essential staff and contractors were allowed on site. This reduction in footfall reduced the risk of the virus being brought into the House. A non-contact thermometer was purchased, and everyone adjusted to having their temperature taken and wearing facemasks when in communal areas. The reception and kitchen areas had Perspex screens installed to further reduce the risk of transmission.

Staying at the House during Covid-19

The pandemic certainly made life even more challenging for the Muir family. They have two older boys who were understandably very worried about Adam but could not visit him. David and Susan had the anguish of not wanting to leave their baby’s side amplified in numerous ways. The couple’s oldest son has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and needed to shield. David and Susan were extremely worried about bringing Covid-19 into the family home and putting him at risk, but naturally they wanted to go home to see their sons, as well as take care of their farm.

Thankfully, the measures taken in the House helped to relieve some of their anxieties. Although it was hard for the Muirs to see other families in PICU who would have benefitted from a room at the House had it been possible, David remembers how “…the facilities at the House were great and everything … was done to keep families safe too”.

Adam gets to go home

It was an awfully long nine weeks for Adam and his family in hospital and at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow. Despite the fact his kidneys were damaged when he went into cardiac arrest, thankfully Adam made a good recovery. The family were able to return home. Adam’s two brothers could finally cuddle their little brother again and welcome their mum and dad back home.

David said, “Adam is making good progress now but still has some recovery to go with his kidneys – we come up for regular check-ups at Glasgow and also at Dumfries”.

“Thanks again – having Ronald McDonald [House Glasgow] to stay at made a very difficult time that wee bit easier so we both could be there for Adam and each other”, the Muirs said as they finished telling us their story.

The team at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow are relieved that Adam is making such good progress. We thank the Muir family for sharing their story with you.

The House takes in more families once again

Fortunately, the restrictions on taking new families into the House were short lived. The enhanced health and safety measures put in place were approved, meaning the Charity was able to take referrals from the hospital once again and welcome new families through our doors.

However, the Charity is now facing a massive shortfall in funding. The pandemic has had an extremely negative impact on the Charity’s normal fundraising activities. Our three main fundraising events for 2020 had to be cancelled, and nationwide mass participation events were cancelled too.

As a result, we need you now more than ever before. You can help keep the doors to the House open by becoming a regular giver. Signing up is secure and simple using our online form. This helps the Charity to plan and budget for the future with more certainty.

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