A Scattering of the Clan – Something for the Weekend

This weekend my family are scattered far and wide. The Tall One is tramping the hilltops of Wales in his wet weather gear trying to find his way home with a map and compass fuelled only by Super Noodles and KP peanuts. He is on his practice expedition for his Silver Duke of Edinburgh award.

My beautiful girl will be twirling and whirling at ballet before trotting off with her sleeping bag tucked under her arm to spend the night not sleeping at a sleepover.

My Mum is in charge on Saturday while Mr Thinly Spread is at work and he takes over the reins for Sunday, two children and one wife down on his usual quota. Next week friends and family are helping the Thinly Spread machine to keep runnin smoothly in my absence.

This weekend I shall not be striding out with my family, there will be no blackberry picking, no stroll on the beach, no foraging in the forest for tomorrow evening I am flying away.

I’m not actually comfortable about this. I don’t like leaving my family behind and I certainly don’t like going so far away when one of them is on expedition dealing with all the weather Wales can throw at him. A very big part of me wants to curl up under my duvet with my man and my Bonus Boy and stay there.

But, fly away I will.

Mozambique opened my eyes in a way that nothing on TV, radio, internet or newspapers can. The realisation that millions of people worldwide have no access to healthcare and what that means in reality, on the ground, won’t leave me.

I am flying to New York tomorrow evening after the Save the Children Blogging conference. I am going because I want to make more noise. I want David Cameron and the other world leaders to ensure that everyone has access to a health worker. Health workers save lives. Children are dying every day because they are out of reach of expert care and that is wrong.

I cannot imagine having to watch a child die simply because I live in the wrong place. My children saw health professionals in their early years more times than I can count and I took it for granted that they could; that it was our right. Every mother and child has that right.

One of my children has asthma. When he was younger and it wasn’t managed we had many scary trips to hospital to sort him out and one traumatic ambulance trip in the middle of the night. With my Bonus Boy my home birth was attended by two gorgeous midwives, when I retained my placenta I was whisked to hospital in Bath to have it forcibly removed before it killed me. If we lived beyond the reach of health workers none of this would have been possible.

Health workers are crucial for the welfare and well-being of the world’s communities. They provide ante and post natal care, they vaccinate children, support breast-feeding and they educate communities to ensure better hygiene and better health. The knock on effects of this are immeasurable. Healthy communities are productive communities. Health workers are a long-term investment.

In New York I shall be meeting politicians, celebrities and health workers from Save the Children’s work in Sierra Leone. I will be blogging, vlogging and tweeting as I go. Please support me in this latest venture by blogging and tweeting too.

Save the Children want David Cameron to lead the way with other world leaders at the UN Summit by prioritising in his aid budget the funding, training and deployment of health workers across the globe to help save million’s more children’s lives. They are calling on you and me to support them, to sign this petition and to emphasize that a health worker who is in reach, is trained, equipped and supported, is crucial to increasing maternal and child survival. To sign up to the petition and to find out more about the campaign click on the picture below.

How have you benefitted from the attention of a health worker? Has a doctor, nurse or midwife meant the difference between life and death for you? I’d love to hear your stories and will comment on them all (this may take a bit longer than usual as I’m a wee bit busy for the next week!)

Click to sign. Thank you.


Filed under Save the Children

10 responses to “A Scattering of the Clan – Something for the Weekend

  1. I shed a little tear reading this. How hard it is to leave our own children, but when there are other suffering in this world we must. You will do wonderful work, go and raise the profile, go and be loud, be that voice and shout from the rooftops. MWAH

  2. I think it’s great what you are doing. I had my first daughter dangerously premature (28 weeks into the pregnancy) due to a complication called HELLP syndrome. I had to have an emergency caesarian and the surgeon involved told my husband (later, once I was ok!) that I was only a couple of hours from dying. I remember that he was the one pushing through and chasing tests, and checking on me while I was in the hospital. When I woke up from the operation, he was the one standing there, talking to me. I do believe that I am alive (and my daughter too!) because of his actions. It’s insane that this kind of treatment and attention is only available to some people, and depending on where in the world they live. Good on you!

  3. Fantastic post. You really are making a difference and that must feel great. What a great direction for a blogger to go in, you inspire me. Look forward to meeting you at Bristol blog camp

  4. Hi Chris, Having grown up in a country where queues at the local hospital, often a Church run one, were horrendous and some children died before getting to the front, I can appreciate your thoughts. I would have died myself from loss of blood after my placenta disintegrated after having my son. If I had been an African village woman, I would not still be here! Go and blog loudly in New York! We need to have people in poor countries trained to help their own people survive what most of us in the west live through with the right medical care. People should not still have to die of simple things like fever caused meningitis and dehydration. Have a safe trip:)

  5. 2 weeks ago when I took my ds2 to be given his MMR vaccination I thought a lot about the Pass it on campaign and how lucky I was that both my boys had free access to life-saving vaccines. Even 10 days later, when ds2 spiked a fever in reaction to his vaccinations (or so I thought), I just kept thinking, “well, at least he’s had the vaccines…at least he’s immune to some really awful childhood diseases”.

    But then it all became a lot more frightening. He developed the characteristic non-blanching rash of meningitis.

    But we saw our GP within 20 minutes, 5 minutes later an ambulance was called and ds2 was given a hefty shot of antibiotics in his thigh. 10 minutes after that, a lovely, patient registrar examined my beautiful baby boy and reassured us that thankfully it wasn’t meningitis. We then spent a further 48 hours receiving expert care, with highly skilled people carrying out a whole battery of tests on our behalf, and all for free.

    I am so thankful that we have access to such talented healthcare workers practically on our doorstep. Tonight, I am both grateful and humbled and holding my babies tightly.

    Thank you Chris for helping remind me just how lucky I am.

  6. Wow, what a few days you have coming up Poppet. But you are going to be “fabulous” as they’d say in SITC and NY and the summit will be awesome!
    Oddly I had the same problem as you after giving birth to L – a completely natural birth, but it took two midwives jumping on me for 20mins to release the placenta. Had they not been there, like you, I would have died, but as it was, that thought never once occurred to me. My worst fear at the time, was not death, but the fact that they wanted to give me a C-Sect to get it out. I was incensed and refused saying “I’ve given birth to my boy naturally, so there’s no way I’m going under now! but afterwards I remember thinking at least that option had been there if the worst had come to the worst. Had I been a mother in Mozambique, my son would probably have lived, but I probably would have not.
    I blogged today in support of what you are all doing.
    Best of luck to you all.

  7. I know you’ll take the Big apple by storm.


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