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Alfie’s story

Born with a serious heart condition, Alfie still wants to do everything other boys his age get up to! Fortunately, Forget Me Not have been on hand since day one to help him and his family make the most of every moment

Cheeky-chappy Alfie is 5 years old and, like every little boy, wants to be playing football and generally getting up to mischief!

Sadly though, his heart condition – hypoplastic right heart syndrome, diagnosed before he was born – means he has half a working heart. He can’t run around or overdo it. He’s also had to endure three major operations; his first open heart surgery was at just 4 days old. For the family – mum Sam, dad Alex and 9 year old sister Lily, this has meant lots of hospital stays and the challenge of finding things they can all do together as a family.

Fortunately, Forget Me Not has been right by their side since before Alfie was born. “They supported us throughout my pregnancy,” says Sam, “coming along to appointments and helping us to understand all the medical terminology and what that meant for Alfie.”

Having Forget Me Not on hand whenever we needed advice, support or someone to talk to, meant we weren’t just left to go through this on our own.

Sam

Having Forget Me Not on hand whenever the family needed advice, support or someone to talk to, meant “we weren’t just left to go through this on our own.”

For Sam, that’s one of the things that has made the biggest difference. “People don’t always understand what you’re going through. They say ‘but he looks fine’, they don’t realise what’s going on behind the scenes. Or they’ll be surprised that we’re ‘off on holiday again!’ without understanding that when you have a child like Alfie, your whole mindset as a family changes. You have to make the most of every opportunity to make memories.”

“At Forget Me Not, they just get it. They don’t judge and you never feel like you have to explain things over and over again.”

At Forget Me Not, they just get it. They don’t judge and you never feel like you have to explain things over and over again.

Sam

It’s also through Forget Me Not that the family have met other mums, dads and siblings who share similar experiences. “Lily’s made some really good friends with other siblings who she’d never have met had it not been for Forget Me Not. It’s been a lot for her to deal with so having friends who know what it’s like is lovely. And Forget Me Not puts on lots of events and activities we can come to together – like the Christmas disco, the summer fun day. We all loved the forestry school last year!”

“It’s great that Forget Me Not have retained their outstanding CQC rating”, says Sam, “it’s fantastic recognition of how hard the staff work. But to us, they were outstanding anyway! Everything they do is second to none.”

It’s great that Forget Me Not have retained their outstanding CQC rating. It’s fantastic recognition of how hard the staff work. But to us, they were outstanding anyway! Everything they do is second to none.

Sam