News Family stories Jayden's Story Jayden melts hearts wherever he goes with his cheeky smile and bubbly personality. The fearless youngster has been fighting life and death battles since day one, defying expectations every step of the way. Mum Sarah shares their family story, explaining how Bluebell Wood has changed their lives: “I was over the moon to be pregnant with Jayden, and it all started off well. But then at each scan we kept getting more bad news until doctors discovered he had a serious brain condition called Hydrocephalus.” The devastating news was only the beginning, with doctors telling Sarah that Jayden might not survive birth. “I felt completely numb, like the whole ground had just opened up and swallowed me. I didn’t know what to do.” After a deeply worrying six-week stay in hospital, Sarah gave birth to Jayden. But her happiness was short-lived, with the new-born rushed to a Special Care Unit after doctors discovered a cleft palate and a dilated artery in his heart. A further three weeks in hospital followed, the first of many heart-wrenching stays culminating in Jayden spending almost a year away from home. “They didn’t think he’d make it to the age of three. Now the doctor says let’s get him to fifteen. Initially I was told he’d never talk, sit up or move around. He’s now verbal, sitting up on his own and bum-shuffling. He never fails to amaze me.” The brave youngster continues to defy doctor’s expectations, surviving emergency heart surgery and various other operations, despite also being diagnosed with a rare life-limiting condition called Loeys-Dietz syndrome. Meeting Jayden’s complex needs took its toll on Sarah, and a difficult period for the family led her to Bluebell Wood. “It was daunting at first but once the care team explained the respite care on offer, I felt much more at ease.” Since that first visit, she’s never looked back. “Bluebell Wood has really changed my life – it’s made me a better person. It’s made such a difference to both of our lives." “Jayden absolutely loves it. I ask him if he wants to go on holiday to Bluebell and he gets excited and shouts: holiday – Bluebell! “I know he’s always in safe hands when he’s there. The only time I can truly relax and be myself is when we’re at Bluebell Wood. Before I was the only person who was really trained to care for him.” Jayden, who likes nothing more than to play and sing, has found plenty to keep himself amused. “He loves everything about Bluebell Wood. The staff are all absolutely brilliant with him and he’s always blowing them kisses. The staff there often say to me – he’s just so happy. He really has melted everyone’s heart. “He really likes to play and sing too so he loves his music therapy session each week.” For Sarah, it’s about making the most of every single moment they have together. “He’s going to have a lot of questions when he’s older but I just want him to enjoy his life while he can, because you never know what’s around the corner. “That’s what Bluebell Wood gives us, the chance to be ourselves and enjoy life.” To find out more about how you can get involved with fundraising for Bluebell Wood, click here.