Nathan Baines: Zoë’s Place "a gift from God"

Many of you may remember former Blaze Marketing Manager, Nathan Baines.

A hard-working and loyal employee of the club a few years ago, including the Championship year of 2009/10.

Following words by Catherine Lillington, Coventry Telegraph - extracted with thanks from the following article:

Nathan and his wife, Claire, five-months ago had a baby boy, born with a rare condition.

Joel Baines was born with a gap between his food and wind pipes, which means he runs the risk of food and liquid getting into his lungs

When he was just two weeks old he had an operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to repair half of his cleft and a tracheostomy was fitted to deliver oxygen to his lungs.

But the tracheostomy means that Joel is unable to make any sounds because air in and out of his lungs bypasses his vocal chords.

A feeding tube is attached to him all the time and he will be nil by mouth until the rest of the cleft is repaired when he has grown big enough.

When Joel was about three months old, Coventry’s University Hospital, where he was born, referred him to the charity Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, which offers respite care.

Nathan said: “Joel needs regular care, day and night, which means one of us is always awake with him. The impact of that means that our normal lives are devastated effectively. We can’t do anything that a normal family with a new baby would be doing.

“That’s where Zoë’s Place has come as a bit of a gift from God because without them and without the respite that they provide us we would really struggle.”

Claire said the support from Zoë’s Place had been invaluable – with trained professionals who know how to deal with conditions such as Joel’s allowing herself and Nathan peace of mind during their periods of respite.

She said: “We are lucky in that Birmingham Children’s Hospital are confident that Joel’s condition is fully treatable so there is light at the end of the tunnel, but in the mean time Zoë’s Place has been a gift from God as without the respite care the hospice provides we know we wouldn’t be able to cope."

The Coventry Telegraph also features a video to watch (see article).

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze would like to help support Nathan and Claire in their pledge to raise awareness of the incredible work that our friends Zoë’s Place does.

The story of Joel and the fabulous support of Zoë’s Place has also featured on ITV via:

What is Zoë’s Place?

Celebrating five years since it opened its doors, Zoë’s Place provides 24-hour palliative, respite and end-of-life care to babies and children up to the age of five.

The hospice facilties include hydrotherapy, music and multi-sensory environments, a self-contained parents’ suite, starlight room, in which parents may stay during difficult times, and five child-friendly ‘cot’ rooms.

The running costs of the hospice – to keep it open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is £1.3 million. For this:

£25 provides one hour of high quality care for one baby or child

£50 provides art therapy for a number of children at the hospice

£150 provides weekly physiotherapy sessions for babies with restricted movement

£600 provides 24 hours of ventilated care for a baby

£3,500 covers the cost of on day of care and support at the hospice

Website: Zoë’s Place

Twitter: @ZoesPlaceCov

Facebook: Zoë’s Place

Donate to Zoë’s Place

You can find out more about donating to Zoë’s Place here.