The Olivia Mae Foundation was founded by one of the North East’s leading business women, Pamela Petty, Managing Director of Newton Aycliffe firm Ebac. The aim of the charity is to help families during difficult periods when a child is ill in hospital.
Olivia Mae, the daughter of Pamela and her husband, Richard, who live in Bishop Auckland, died in the Summer of 2007, aged nine and a half weeks, as a result of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. Seven and a half weeks of Olivia’s life were spent in the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle.
The Olivia Mae Foundation has helped 21 families to date. A local, young, single mum of three whose youngest child has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome is one example of the charity in action.
All of the children were under 5 and mum’s income was limited to state benefits. Even though the distances were not great, this little boy was also in hospital for months and his mum just did not have the funds for daily travel to and from the Freeman hospital in Newcastle. As she was his only visitor lack of funds meant that he could have days without seeing anyone other than hospital staff. Help from the Olivia Mae Foundation meant that this little boy and his mum could spend time together on a regular basis. This was obviously essential for his emotional wellbeing (and hers) but also so that she could learn how to administer his medication and provide safe care in terms of all of his medical needs.
The charity ball was held at Crook Golf Club, Crook, County Durham, on June 7th.
Pamela Petty said: “The Olivia Mae Foundation is run by families for families to provide that vital lifeline in the moments after mums and dads might have been told by the hospital there is a serious problem and they need to make emergency arrangements. We can cover those costs and let them get on with caring for their children.
“I would like to personally thank family and friends and all the local businesses that have been so generous with their time and donations to make the ball the fantastic success it was.”