Emma's Story

You can make a BIG difference. Read Emma's story and learn how you can help families like hers get the support they need.

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Nobody expects to be in this position, but it can happen to anyone

Emma and Steve became first-time parents in 2017 when their daughter Grace was born at 38 weeks after an emergency C-section with her heartbeat reaching just 50 bpm.

After being induced, Emma woke up to confusion and shock as she discovered her baby was attached to a variety of wires and machines - Grace was severely unwell, as her blood pressure continued to crash.

Emma and Steve's first memories and family pictures with Grace were traumatic, as she was attached to an array of beeping machines with her skin being freezing to touch.

Hear Emma's Story

Many thanks to Reach Video for crafting this beautiful short film.

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They were told Grace wouldn't make it

Eventually, Emma and Steve gained a better understanding of Grace's condition - she suffered from a lack of oxygen at birth which lead to a range of complex issues, including seizures, acidosis, and problems with her organs.

Emma and Steve were told that Grace wouldn't survive and that they should prepare for the worst within the first few days. It wasn't until day 5 where they finally got to sign Grace's birth certificate, and hold her for the first time.

"You are always going to look for the hope in everything. You always hope that your baby is going to be the one that pulls through - the one that defies the odds, that your little girl is going to be the one that's going to make it. I was always very hopeful that she would do all these things - and Grace did start improving."

Emma Beattie
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Glimmers of hope

Despite Grace's resilience and improvements, the family were told that Grace had spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy - she would never walk, talk and would be socially unaware. Fortunately, Grace continued to miraculously improve, meaning that the family could leave intensive care and eventually take their baby home with them. Soon, Grace no longer required a nasogastric tube and was able to oral feed - things that Emma and Steve were told would never be possible.

"We just felt like we were getting lots of glimmers of hope - Grace was becoming more alive and smiling. You just felt like this is how it should have been from the get go when in reality this was 6/7 weeks down the line."

Charlie House Emma Story

Emma Beattie

"As Grace got bigger, I didn't want her to miss out on anything - I wanted her to do anything and everything. Charlie House put to ease everything that I had been keeping inside of me for the past 2 and a bit years.

"It's about building memories and giving Grace things that I wouldn't be able to do, or even know how to orchestrate, and it's socialising with other families and meeting parents and children that are in a similar situation to us. That's something I didn't have for a long time, whereas now with Charlie House, we are altogether - we all support each other."

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A loving and supportive community

"We are very lucky to still have Grace and that we get to love her everyday - she is a very happy, smiley girl. When you see what is written on her doctors' notes compared to what you see as a person - they are two completely different things. Even her doctors are astounded by the things Grace is able to do.

"We all want the same thing for our babies and we get that with Charlie House - it's about making memories, having a community and a bond - I have bonds with some of these women which we will have for the rest of our lives. This isn't something you would have found in your everyday life - it's only because of this life we have all been thrust into that we've been able to have these bonds, which was all made possible by Charlie House, because we wouldn't have met otherwise.

"We need to protect Charlie House, love it, and we need to give it all the support we can because I'd be lost without them."

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Make a difference to a family like Emma's

By donating a small amount, you can make a BIG difference to lives of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, and their families, in North-east Scotland.

£10 could offer a child the gift of joy through a fun activity like music therapy

£30 could create lasting memories for siblings and grant them access to invaluable peer support

£50 could offer emotional support to a family member when they need it most

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