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Supporting DS when a friend is very seriously ill - can you help?

(5 Posts)
nether Tue 25-Feb-14 11:09:16

NC, as this is about one of DS's best friends, and also some aspects I do not feel I can write about fully for the sake of his privacy.

The BF (young teen) has a long standing condition, which has recently developed a very serious (probably life-limiting) complication. He may live for several years more, but also if things take a further turn for the worse he could decline rapidly.

He is currenty in hospital, and may remain there for several weeks. DS knows something of his BF's condition, but does not AFAIK know that it can be life-limiting. I do not know (nor would I seek to interfere with) what BF might or might not tell DS.

Two questions: does anyone know of any good resources for me to look at now about how to help preteens and teens deal with life-limiting illness in someone they are close to? I want to have a think about it now, rather than have to scramble to find out or make something up on the spot if a need arises suddenly.

And, what are the most appreciated little things to take during visits for the BF's mother who is currently living in the hospital too?

Many thanks for any help.

pudseypie Tue 25-Feb-14 13:44:55

Not sure about resources other than seeing if there is a charity for the illness he has who might have a website with some more info your ds could read to help him understand?
For the mum, I would take some nice food for her, sachets of hot drinks, magazines. I'm in hospital frequently with my ds and food and the tea and coffee is dreadful. If there are other kids at home can you take a meal round for them?

nether Tue 25-Feb-14 19:52:37

Thanks pudseypie

I think DS understands the underlying condition quite well, and has been BF go in and out of hospital quite often before. What he (probably) doesn't know is that the recent complication can be fatal. i'll talk to BF's mother (away from the boys) to see how far aware BF is of the prognosis, and whether he is likely to want to talk to a friend about it. I'll have a google for organisations which might be able to help.

Thanks for the visiting tips. They have no other DC, and though I offer help it's always been declined and there aren't any obvious admin difficulties (yes, I'll keep offering from time to time and will try to be alert for things they might appreciate domestically).

I've got her nice coffee, a rich body lotion (which can double as handcream) and will look out for some reading material. What sort of food - chocolate and fruit seems such a cliche, but has it become that because they really are the welcome thing?

pudseypie Tue 25-Feb-14 20:23:30

I would avoid chocolate as it's the one thing that the vending machines are full of in hospitals! Some fruit, nice posh biscuits would be a good idea. Can you sit with her ds for a bit so she can have a shower or go for a walk to get some fresh air? I find you need a break or you go crazy sitting there. Maybe offer to take any laundry home to wash? These are the things I always find I need help with.

nether Tue 25-Feb-14 21:14:20

<crosses chocolate off list>
<adds biscuits>

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