One of the things we have been most proud of this last year has been the opportunity to make a difference for charities that are very close to our hearts. This year we partnered with Garlanna Greeting Cards Ltd and Musgraves to make a huge difference for the charity organisations at Adam’s hospitals – Cork University Hospital Charity in Cork and Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street, Dublin.
Adam loves going to hospital to meet with his ‘Hospital Family’. They brought him into this world, they help us as parents to care for him, they give him his ‘bone juice’ to make his bones grow stronger. They fix him up when he breaks his bones, put on his casts, give him x-rays, look after his teeth. From Dublin to Cork, they work with us as parents, helping us navigate Adam’s health journeys so he can live his very best life. We are very grateful for all of this.
But they also do much, much more. His surgeon Dr. Sinead makes all the scary times in the operating theatre not so scary at all. JD in Temple St - presents and feeding the fish, what more could you want! All the fun Adam has in the Seahorse ward in Cork with all the nurses, catering staff, cleaners and porters. Going all the way back to when Adam was in the neonatal unit in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) – Adam’s Hospital Family made him smile and laugh for the 1st 6 weeks of his life and held us up as parents until we were able to take him home. He had the best start in life and the best time since and not just medically – he belongs. Adam’s Hospital Family are the reason he gets excited about his visits. They go above and beyond the call every single time. We are so grateful that they are Adam’s friends, and Adam and our family were beyond proud to give back to those that have done so much for us.
Adam and the King Family with Adam's 'Hospital Family' at CUH and CUMH
Adam’s Virtual Hug Cards went on sale for Valentine’s Day 2021 and continued on sale throughout February, into Mother’s Day in March then up to Easter. Adam also released a limited edition “Irish Hug” card, which went on sale around St. Patrick’s Day (Spoiler alert – they will be coming back in stores again! In the meantime you can still get Adam’s cards online from Garlanna). Whilst both of Adam’s cards were wonderful to share for special events like these, they have also served as valuable gestures for any time or reason someone wants to send a hug to friends or loved ones. Many of you have told us how you used them to send to friends and family at home and abroad when you could not be with them – thank you. We are glad the cards made a difference to you.
Most importantly – just think of the difference you have all made through buying the cards. Thanks to the sale of Adam’s Virtual Hug cards, thanks to your generosity, our family are proud to make a donation of €266,830.52, to be split equally between Adam’s hospitals in Cork and Temple St. This phenomenal donation would not have been possible without the trust, commitment and dedication of Garlanna Cards and Musgraves. We would do an injustice to them if we tried to list the countless tasks, hours, conversations and emails that went into this campaign so we won’t try. To all your staff in every sector - thank you - we are so grateful to you for absolutely everything.
We have always said about Adam and his virtual hug – the smallest gestures really can have the biggest impact – and we are seeing a very real example of the impact of this loving gesture through this fundraising campaign. Thanks to Adam and the sale of his cards, we will support two projects very close to our hearts as a family. At Temple St the money will go towards supporting the work of the Rare Paediatric Bone Disorders Clinic, which Adam and many other children attend. It will also support the Arts in Health Programme, an exciting programme which will help to make the hospital the inclusive, welcoming and joyful place Adam loves to visit.
The King Family with Nessa O'Reilly, Children's Health Ireland
In Cork, we are donating the money to support the building of a Neonatal Sanctum. The Neonatal Sanctum will be a structure in the CUMH garden for parents to take a baby in palliative care, or for a seriously ill mother to access. Being able to step outside in a quiet dignified space, away from a clinical critical environment is so important for families. Sharing a small glimpse of nature with an ill or dying baby and seeing the blue sky in a place of quiet, solace and privacy creates cherished memories that will last for many years. We were so grateful to be able to take Adam home from the neonatal unit at 6 weeks old. It has never left us just how lucky we were. Sadly, we know some parents don’t get this opportunity. We hope in the years to come, the sanctum will provide a space for precious family memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.
This project is a huge undertaking and fundraising is still underway. It is a dream of our family, of many families and members of the CUH community, to see the Neonatal Sanctum built. If you would like to learn more about this important project, and to support, you can watch the video below and support by donating to the CUH Charity.
We would like to thank our team who made this campaign possible. To Shaunagh O’Connell who worked with us on the photography and videography for this campaign, to Big & Bright Agency and of course to Juelie McLoughlin of Cadence PR. Juelie has been a guiding compass for our family through all the mad and wonderful events of these last 12 months. Everything she does is done to the highest standards and borne out of a genuine love for Adam and our family. Thank you Juelie, we love you very much.
Finally, we want to again say just how grateful we are to every single one of you who went out and bought a card in support of this campaign. Adam has given a very special gift to the world – we are so very proud of him for doing so. Thanks to Adam, and thanks to all of you – look at the difference you have made.
(Photo credits: Brian Lougheed)