Monty was so precious to us no matter how short his life was. Hospice staff gave his life value, and this was so special to us.

When Sara and Pete found out they were pregnant with their fourth child Monty they were over the moon. But tragically, at Sara’s 12 week scan an abnormality was detected. Following further tests, the family found out that Monty had Edwards’ Syndrome, and sadly most babies with this rare and serious condition will die before or shortly after being born.

If I could summarise Haven House, I would pick these three words: ‘The unexpected’ – it was everything we were not expecting. ‘Fun’ because the children had many happy and special memories there. And finally, ‘God-given’, it met all the needs we didn’t realise we had."

Sara describes: “The pregnancy was so hard. It was unknown. As soon as Monty was born, we didn’t know what was going to happen and whether he would live for hours, days or weeks. He behaved very similarly to my other babies, but he was tiny and was fed via a tube.”

After a week in hospital Sara and Pete were able to bring Monty home. He was able to meet his older siblings Hugo, 7, William, 6, Felicity, 3. It was then, Haven House was suggested to offer the family some respite care. Sara continued: “When a hospice was suggested, I wasn’t jumping at the idea. The perception of a hospice at that time, was one of a place that was depressing and surrounded by death. However, it was the height of lockdown, and we felt isolated and tired. We welcomed the support.

“We went to stay in the hospice’s family flat, which is just down the corridor from where Monty’s bedroom was, and where he was being cared for by the hospice nurses. Pete and I were exhausted, and it meant we could get some rest and respite knowing that we were still close to Monty, and our whole family could be together.

“We could not believe the care and support we received. People were there 24/7 for Monty and for us all. Hospice staff filled our fridge with food and the hospice were not asking for a penny. It makes me so emotional thinking about it – everyone was so caring for us all.
“It was an escape and Hugo, William and Felicity, were so well looked after by the play specialists. They could use the playground and the beautiful grounds. They were in the playroom enjoying arts and crafts. For them, this was their time too.

Monty was so precious to us no matter how short his life was. Taking him to the hospice, other people cared for him and loved him too. The staff gave his life value, and this was so special to us. Monty died at home on 7 December 2020.