LauraLynn and Our Home

Published: 15 Mar 2019

“Knowing that we have this resource available to us lightens the load in what can often be a difficult journey.”

Natalie Racovita

Ramona and Lavrentiv Racovita joined our LauraLynn family when their beautiful daughter Natalie came in for a visit in September 2017. Natalie was just 18-months-old when she arrived but fast forward two years and the Racovita’s are still a major part of our LauraLynn family.

Both parents are grateful for the support they receive from the team as Ramona explains: “LauraLynn is part of our family. Being from Romania, we have no family here in Ireland which can be very hard. Other people might be able to ask grandparents to help out or to mind the children for a night but we can’t. Having the support of LauraLynn has changed all of that; it has given us the chance of having a break.”

Natalie, 3, is living with an extensive brain injury and requires daily specialist care and medical support. As part of our services, Natalie is entitled to 15 nights short breaks at our special children’s hospice in Leopardstown, while our LauraLynn@home team also visit the family in the comfort of their own home.

“The LauraLynn@home team are incredible; it is a fantastic opportunity for us to have access to these services. With Natalie, it can be difficult, as how she is feeling and coping changes daily, which means I can’t forward plan – some days are just hit and miss.”

Ramona believes the inability to forward plan is the biggest challenge for the family but with the help of LauraLynn@home they can have a small bit of normality: “It helps to give us some normality in our life, even if it’s for a few short hours, it allows us to go to the shops or walk the dog.”

Achieving milestones is a huge challenge for Natalie given her condition, yet Ramona and her husband know the importance of enjoying the little moments with their daughter:

“My fondest memory of Natalie was when we got to hear her laugh. Natalie has only ever laughed twice but I managed to capture her laughing on my phone. That’s the important thing, being able to hold that memory and play it when I wish.

“LauraLynn understand memory making better than anyone and devote so much time to it. Every time Natalie stays in LauraLynn House she comes home with different pieces of artwork and they’re lovely keepsakes, whether they are Christmas themed, footprints, photos or handprint pieces of art.”

LauraLynn has helped the Racovita’s in more ways than Ramona thought possible, they have now become part of a wider community: “LauraLynn has been an incredible support to us as parents. Because of this service, I’ve been able to return home to Romania for a few days and visit family which I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise as Natalie doesn’t travel well.

“It’s a big help knowing that if I have any concerns about Natalie’s health, I can pick up the phone day or night and chat to someone on the team who knows Natalie’s condition and can offer me the best advice for her.

“Knowing that we have this resource available to us lightens the load in what can often be a difficult journey.”