Date published: 11 November 2021 by Amber Hemming
A family, whose four-year-old daughter has kidney failure and required a kidney transplant from her dad, are supporting a new colourful campaign from Rainbow Trust.
Rainbow Trust has supported single parent Kerrie and her daughters Rosie, four, and Esme, eight, since 2019 when Rosie was nearly two-years-old and Kerrie needed extra support to help her with the demands of Rosie’s renal failure.
The family were paired with their Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker, Liz, to help the family with the pressures of having a child with a life-threatening illness. The family have been supported ever since by Liz who works in the Southampton Care team.
Now Kerrie, Rosie and Esme are backing Rainbow Trust’s new awareness campaign, Find Our Rainbow, launching on Saturday 13 November. The campaign encourages local residents to find gorgeous rainbow painted rocks in outdoor locations. Successful hunters are invited to post a picture of the rainbow rocks they find on our Instagram page @rainbowtrustcc, before re-hiding them for others to discover.
Rosie and Esme have both painted some of the striking rainbow rocks to show their support for Rainbow Trust. The family hopes to help raise awareness of the charity by hiding them near their home for lucky residents to find.
“I first found out Rosie’s kidney wasn’t working after my 12 week scan as my bump wasn’t growing as expected. From day one it has been hell. From the age of one Rosie needed dialysis in hospital three times a week which was very demanding on all of us.
“Liz from Rainbow Trust has helped us a lot – honestly, she’s been fantastic to us. She has given emotional support to me and sibling support to Esme who has found it all really hard. Liz takes her out on visits and walks and helps collect her from school when I’ve not been able to be there, and she can talk about how she is feeling.”
In August 2020 Rosie’s Dad, Ben, donated his kidney to Rosie and Kerrie travelled up to London to be with her. Pandemic restrictions meant that Kerrie was unable to see Esme for two weeks while she was in isolation in the hospital with Rosie.
“Not seeing Esme broke my heart and the only way I could see her was on FaceTime. Thankfully Liz was able to support her whilst I was in with Rosie which was such a help to know that she had someone there for her.
“The transplant was very scary for all of us. Rosie had to spend two nights in intensive care after her operation before coming back onto the ward on the third day. Thankfully Rosie is doing really well at the moment. She has had the odd hiccup but we are hoping and praying she doesn’t reject Ben’s kidney. We have to have her bloods checked in hospital every month and if there’s any sign of rejection then Rosie will need a biopsy and high doses of steroids.
“Rosie is very diddy and she is on medication all the time. If she catches a cold she gets it ten times worse than us, so we have had to be so cautious of COVID-19. She had tonsillitis recently and ended up in hospital for 13 weeks as she had to have her tonsils out.
“Having constant support from Liz throughout is amazing. She keeps in touch with us all the time and if I’m having a bad day or the girls are struggling, I can text and ask for some help. I couldn’t imagine going through all this without her - she has been an absolute dream.
“We hope that the Rosie and Esme’s painted rocks will encourage families to get involved and spread awareness of this brilliant charity, that helps families like mine.”
Claire Coussins, Rainbow Trust Head of Engagement said:
“We are so excited to be launching Find Our Rainbow in Southampton. It is wonderful to have Kerrie, Esme and Rosie’s involvement through their beautiful painted rocks and through the family’s powerful story about their experiences of Rainbow Trust’s support.”
To follow the campaign visit Rainbow Trust’s Instagram page @rainbowtrustcc.