Louis Dillon is a past patient of COSMIC, his mum Clair has this to say about her son’s stay on PICU:

“On October 25th 1998 my two and a half year old son Louis, was rushed to St Marys Hospital in Paddington. He had been poorly for a few days and an out of hour’s duty GP referred us to our local hospital Frimley Park.

On arrival there we were told they suspected he had Meningitis. Everything happened so quickly – we had no time to gather our thoughts at all. Within hours our baby boy was in intensive care in St Marys, being cared for by the most amazing, kind and passionate staff possible.

We were shown to the parents lounge and everything that was going to happen was explained to us. We were also told that the doctors and nurses would try their very best but to be prepared for the worst just in case. However, nothing ever prepares a parent for this; one moment you have a sickly toddler, the next you are listening to the worst possible scenario imaginable.

We were given a comfortable room to stay in and a meal card for myself and Louis’s dad, enabling us to stay close to him and be nearby should his condition change. Louis had a collapsed lung during all the events in PICU.

It was a scary time for us and all of our family, but the staff were brilliant and supportive. One night, there was a fire on one of the floors above, we were being prepared to evacuate, but with the firemen fighting the fire and the ward staff organising us all, the situation was thankfully under control before the children in the unit and ward next door had to be moved.

Soon after, Louis’ condition improved and his diagnosis changed to toxic shock syndrome. After a week in PICU, Louis was bought out of his sedation; this was the most nerve wracking part, seeing if there were to be any long term effects from the disease.

Louis recovery was quite quick. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, although we will never know if this is from his illness or not. Louis has never had it easy, and finds it difficult to fit in at times, but he is a strong, determined teenager who I am so proud of.

As a family we are indebted to the magical work of all the staff at St Marys PICU.  For Louis 3rd birthday we had a huge party raising funds for the unit. In 2012 Louis and myself ran the Bupa 10k through London for COSMIC. My 40th birthday last year was also a charity event and I asked for no presents only donations to the charity.

The treatment and support we received makes us very humble. The PICU at St Mary’s Hospital is a sad and happy place to be and we are forever grateful to be part of the COSMIC family.

Thank you for giving me the chance to express what an amazing job everybody does!”