Parental Support

For parents staying in hospital with very sick children, the stress, loneliness and desperation is often intolerable. Parents can arrive at hospital and remain there for many many months, struggling to support families at home and look after a seriously ill child in hospital...





      The Fund established the Rosie’s Rainbow Therapy Room for parents to take time out and gather their strength. For three days a week, aromatherapist Amanda Tibbels, looks after parents with calming and restorative aromatherapy massage in the Rainbow Therapy Room on the ward at the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital.

The need for this service is substantial. Ward staff identify the parents and carers who will most benefit from the therapy and compile each day’s appointments. There is never enough time to see all whose who require support, but the multiple letters that we receive from those who do receive an aromatherapy massage session on the ward demonstrate the value of the service. We aim to extend this service as the need is so great and there are no similar facilities available.

     'My son is 3 and has a muscular disease and it now appears that the pattern of every winter is that we go to the JR for a stint while he recovers from coughs etc – I have never had such a wonderful massage through Rosie’s Rainbow Fund – thank you VERY much. I couldn’t believe it when someone came to find me and asked if I would like one… after a long week and the prospect of further time at the JR it was enormously appreciated. Not only that but then the music lady appeared by my son’s bed and he was thrilled with the rain stick which he wanted to play with again and again. A very welcome little rainbow during our recent stay. Thank you.'


     'After a very stressful hospital admission with my daughter, I was offered a massage with Amanda which was wonderful and timely. She gave me time to talk over the events and then choose some aromatherapy oils to blend for the massage. I left feeling uplifted and relieved of stress! Thank you.'

Elly W

     'I just wanted to contact you because today I have been the recipient of a massage, thanks to Rosie’s Rainbow Fund. To say I am grateful would be an understatement. Three and a half weeks ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Dylan, who was whisked straight to intensive care when he failed to breathe properly on his own. He spent five days in intensive care, a further two weeks in SCBU and last Wednesday was moved to the Bellhouse Ward at the JR. We now know that Dylan has a small jaw and cleft palate that means he is currently unable to breathe without the assistance of a tube to keep his airway open. He also has two dislocated hips. We did not expect any of this and I have spent the last few weeks not only recovering from the birth itself but visiting Dylan daily, as well as learning about him and his needs and training in the medical and practical knowledge we will need to get him home, as well as looking after my two-year-old daughter. The past few weeks have been without doubt the hardest of my life. It was a huge surprise and delight to be offered a massage when I arrived at the hospital this morning and I really benefitted, not only from the massage itself, but the chance to discuss recent events with Amanda, who was lovely, and so understanding. Today I have felt more confident and positive than I have since Dylan was born and I am sure the brief respite I had today has played a huge part in that. Rosie was, I can see, a beautiful child and I am sure she gave you great joy. I hope you are able to take a small comfort in the fact that she has touched my life today and made it just that little bit better.'

TL- Mummy to Dylan

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