"We really appreciate our respite visits to the hospice... we wished we had known about this place years ago"
The Mollitt family, John, Pat and Aaron first came to Martin House in 2006. Aaron was normal at birth but when he was four weeks old, he received non-accidental injuries and was taken into care. His injuries were such that he would require 24 hour care throughout the rest of his life.
He was fostered by the Mollitts when he was ten weeks old and at that time, their other children Andrew and Joanna were 14 and 10 respectively. Aaron`s care placed heavy demands on the family and respite opportunities were very limited. When he was 4, Aaron went as a day pupil to a Special School and in his later years at the school, he boarded on a Thursday night.
At the age of 16 Aaron was adopted by the Mollitts and on reaching 18, his full time education came to a conclusion. For many, long months attempts were made by the authorities to place Aaron in day centres but because of his `multiple needs`, nothing suitable was ever forthcoming. This meant Aaron was now 24/7 with John and Pat, as Andrew and Joanna had `flown the nest`.
John and Pat were in their late fifties and with John being a clergyman, they were both fully involved in the life of the church and in community activities in the village. This began to take a toll on them and the local GP said she would look into what help was available. Consequently she introduced them to Martin House and they were greatly impressed when they were first visited by the paediatrician from the House. A visit to the hospice was arranged with John and Pat and their response was “we wished we had known about this place years ago”.
Since then John, Pat and Aaron have come for short breaks four times a year and cannot speak too highly of the love and care given, not just to Aaron but to the whole family. It is liberating for them to have time to themselves, knowing that whilst they are enjoying the delights of Harrogate and York, Aaron is receiving the best possible care.
John and Pat are grateful for the advice and care of their local GPs but their own doctor has conceded that her knowledge and experience of children such as Aaron is very limited. It has, therefore, been a tremendous help, when in times of crisis, John and Pat have been able to pick up the phone and speak to the medical staff at Martin House.
Aaron is now 23 and John and Pat would say that their regular visits to Martin House are highlights of their year. So impressed are the family by Martin House that they seek to help this children`s hospice in any way that they can. Pat makes cards which she sells whilst Andrew and Joanna have both run marathons with the sponsorship money going to Martin House. They hope and pray that this wonderful and unique provision for children will continue to meet the needs of children and their families for many years to come.