Friday, 29 February 2008

29Feb08 - Adeus Portimao

Lucy treated me by sleeping all night except my twisted body clock kept waking me up every couple of hours to check that she was alright. Lucy had her final antibiotics in the morning and it was a great feeling knowing that she no longer need a cannula.The Doctor came to see us at 10 o'clock and as expected decided to sign our realease papers. He said he could still hear a slight noise in her chest but it was slight, not enough to stop us going home. We will have to continue giving Lucy a Ventolin inhaler every 6 hours over the weekend before we take her for a check up at our local GP on Monday. The first thing I did after speaking to the Doctor was phone the insurance company. I knew that time was precious as Monarch airlines were standing by with a sky chair in Manchester waiting for a call before 1pm to say that we were booked on the 18:45 out of Faro. The insurance company had arranged a call with the Doctor at 11am so I tried to hurry things along. They assured me that they would chase it up as soon as possible and ring me back. I gave them until 12 noon before ringing back. I could not believe it when the man in Barcelona (international call centre) told me that they hadn't even spoken to the Doctor in Portimao yet. Our chances of getting a Friday flight home were slipping away. After "politely" stressing my concern at there lack of urgency, suddenly they confirmed that they had received word from Portimao that Lucy was fit to travel. However the man in Barcelona then started explaining that usually to make arrangements for someone with Lucy's needs can take up to 3 or 4 days. At this point I was not myself. I told him not too impolitely to phone the contact at Monarch that I had given him and provided he did it immediately we would be on the flight today. It worked because 10 minutes later he phoned back to confirm our full names and birth dates. 10 minutes after that he phoned and confirmed we were booked on the flight and everything was being taken care of by Monarch. I cannot thank Monarch enough because without them I am pretty sure we would still be in Portugal. Karen Doran from the Monarch special needs department phoned to tell me that she had spoken to the flight crew and also to the staff at the check in desk at Faro. They would all be expecting Lucy and all we had to do was turn up at the airport. She had thought of everything and arranged it all in the space of half an hour, absolutely amazing! After feeding Lucy we said our good byes and headed off to Faro airport with our Portugese discharge letter.At the check in desk we were ushered into the special(non-queue) lane where we were told that we were two weeks late but they were happy to see us. I sailed through security control and had time to feed, medicine and change Lucy before making our way to the gate. At the gate there were people waiting for us and we went straight through to be boarded via a special lift before all the other passengers got on.I felt really spoilt that we were in such good hands. The cabin crew were really helpful at both ends. Monarch and especially the special needs department really saved the day for us!Lucy slept all the way home which made it a really easy journey for me and gave me time to reflect on a forgettable couple of weeks.I am sure it won't be our last visit to hospital with Lucy and most probably our time in Portimao won't be our worst experience. These episodes have become part of our lives and are not wholly unexpected. We are not going to let the fear of hospital visits dissuade us from trying to lead as normal a life as possible. We could wrap Lucy up in cotton wool and keep her indoors but that would do more harm than good. What kind of life would that be for her anyway? We accept that Lucy is more vulnerable to many nasty things but to quote the film "Train Spotting", for Lucy we "CHOOSE LIFE"!


Anonymous said...

Neil Dawn Josh,

Great news. Great tenacity on your behalf, i'm sure you were polite and did not require extreme afrikaans. Great work Monarch.

An admirable ethos on life which should inspire others.

Scott and Zoe

fairenuff said...

Hi all,
It's fantasitc that you are all back together in the UK. I hope you manage to have a good Mother's Day and the doctor confirms that Lucy is only days away from being 100% again when you go on Monday.

ps Look at those beautiful eyelashes on the last photo, just gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear you're back, must be such a relief! Hope all is well at the docs on monday :)
love rachel xxx

Anonymous said...

Great news - you r safely home and catching up with each other and Josh I am sure. Hope all of you enjoy a more normal week and that Lucy continues to get better
Love Ann

Anonymous said...

Fab news that your back safe, hope all is said well at the doc's tomorrow, will be thinking of you!
Hope Dawn enjoyed mothers day, she had her little girl back to make the day :)
lots of love to you all
cousin Emma

Erin said...

First off, I am happy to hear of Lucy's safe arrival at home and simply love your perspective at the close of this entry.

I found your blog, oddly enough, by doing a search on the Leckey Squiggles Seat. My son just turned one year old and has spastic quad cerebral palsy and I have just had one ordered for him. I was wondering, once you get a little time, if you would mind emailing to let me know a little more about what the black liner-type thing you seem to have added to Lucy's seat. What purpose does it serve and how I could get one for my son's seat.

My email address is

Many thanks,

Nicky said...

So glad to read of your safe return and Lucy's good recovery. We were also impressed with Monarch, I am sure other airlines could learn a thing or two!
The Buets