A yoga teacher from Worthing, whose little boy endured a traumatic start to life, is putting her skills to good use by raising funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
Six-month-old Rudy is now a bright and happy little boy who makes his parents, Josie Sovegjarto and Joe Philip, so proud. But his first few months were very tough. Rudy needed an operation on his bowel the day he was born, which necessitated a month in intensive care at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit at Brighton Hospital. It was there that doctors suspected he may also have a serious problem with his liver and the family were transferred as an emergency to the specialist children’s liver unit at Kings College Hospital in London, where it was confirmed that Rudy had the rare liver disease, biliary atresia. Further surgery took place and, happily, Rudy is now thriving.
As Josie admits, however, those first precious weeks of parenthood were a long way from what they had hoped for:
“We had a really traumatic introduction to parenthood and a heart breaking first few months. The strain on parents of discovering that your newborn baby is sick and then sleeping, feeding and living bedside in hospital with so much uncertainty is enormous. My husband and I are taking extra care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally as much as we can as we process all that has happened. I am hugely grateful for my yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice and the experience I have in guiding others with these techniques. This was essential in the first few months of Rudy’s life to remain calm and gain some perspective on bad days; to know the importance of slowing down, breathing mindfully and accepting all that is going on. Yoga is brilliant for stress relief and relaxation.
“Rudy’s treatment at Kings was exceptional. In addition to the medical care, staff there told us about how CLDF could help us and we found all their information, both in the leaflets and on the website, to be essential to us in keeping us away from Google and instead having reliable and reassuring resources. It’s wonderful to know that this support is there for families in our situation.
“I am hoping in the future to find a way to help support other parents going through similar situations with my experience in yoga, movement and meditation teachings. But for now I am eager to raise some funds for CLDF as a thank you for the guidance, support and information we were provided with whilst Rudy was in hospital. I have just started a monthly charity class, donating 50% of the proceeds directly to CLDF.
“I’m hoping people will discover the huge benefits yoga can bring while knowing they are supporting a really worthwhile cause.”
Katherine Myles, Interim Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. We’re delighted that Josie found our information so valuable at such a difficult time and delighted to hear of her fundraising plans. We are a small charity, reliant on voluntary donations, so her classes are really going to help make a difference to families throughout the UK who are affected by liver disease in their children.”
To find out more about Josie’s monthly class go to baseflowyoga.com or follow her on Instagram @baseflowyoga.
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.