A FAMILY are looking forward to their first Christmas together following five months of heartache.
Katie and Danny Phillips cannot wait to see their three boys excitedly pulling the wrapping from their Christmas presents on December 25.
Last year they were separated because Charlie, now 17 months old, was seriously ill in hospital.
He and twin Louis were born in June 2014 and it quickly became clear there was something desperately wrong with him.
Whenever Katie and Danny, of Copsey Grove, Drayton, tried to feed him he went blue.
Tests eventually found that he was only getting 65 per cent of the oxygen he needed because of a rare condition which made his larynx and pharynx floppy and closed his airways.
I can’t wait to have everyone at home this Christmas. It’s going to be magicalKatie Phillips
In October last year he was taken to hospital and spent five months being shuttled between paediatric wards at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, and Starfish ward at Southampton General Hospital.
Mum Katie, a 33-year-old teacher, was almost constantly by his side, leaving Danny and family and friends to care for Jacob, now six, and Louis. It was a tough time but makes this Christmas even more special for the family.
Katie said: ‘I can’t wait to have everyone at home this Christmas.
‘It’s going to be magical.
‘We’re going to have so much fun together.’
Katie and Danny heaped praise on all the medical staff who helped Charlie – including his consultant at QA, the staff at Starfish ward and their GP at Sunnyside Surgery.
And Katie and Charlie are now fronting the Christmas campaign for the charity Rainbow Trust which has provided them with a support worker since Charlie left hospital in February.
Their support worker gives practical and emotional support to the family on a fortnightly basis – but can be called upon at any time they need help.
Katie said: ‘They provide a lifesource to my family.
‘I don’t know what I would do without them. I think other families would really benefit from their support.’
To make a donation or find out more about the support on offer go to rainbowtrust.org.uk.