Melissa Ashford


“What is important in life?” is a question I ask myself regularly. 

Leaving school I was determined to follow my dream career, travel and have children. Settling down with my now husband of 24 years was a natural progression in my life after we bought our first house aged 19.

Following my medical training, I worked first in children’s A & E, moved into family support for a fostering agency before landing my dream job at Rainbows Children’s Hospice. 

I still managed to travel during my career breaks between working with families – we  travelled to Belgium, Switzerland and France where we made lifelong friends. 

The first child arrived and everything was great. Having our bundle of joy was the next step in our lives.

Our lives changed dramatically 3 years later when I had a fall whilst pregnant with my second child. The amniotic fluid around his head had disappeared and I was induced at 34 weeks. Morgan couldn’t breathe on his own and his lung had collapsed, he was hooked up to machines and transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary. 

One week before Christmas I was told to get my family together to say goodbye to our baby as professionals did not expect him to survive the night. I could not hold my baby, every minute that night felt like a lifetime and my world fell apart!

Against all odds, Morgan became stronger and fought to survive. He was in and out of hospital and when Morgan did not reach his milestones, we knew things were not quite right.

Great Ormond Street Hospital diagnosed him with Hypermobility Syndrome EDS Type 3 and Multisensory Processing Disorder and our past nearly 16 years consisted of hospital admissions, outpatient appointments and Physio and Occupational Therapy are just a few named professional services involved in Morgan’s health care but we are so proud of his achievements.

I went on to have two further children and my youngest has the same condition as Morgan as well as ADHD. 

My own health issues are challenging, sometimes life is tough but having support, friends and family keeps me going and teaches me to never give up.