Parents of sick children face lonely vigil

May 2, 1997

PARENTS whose children have a life-threatening illness usually have to learn by trial and error the medical care that must be carried out at home to keep their offspring alive, a study has found.

Tricia Nash, research fellow in the sociology department at Exeter University, looked at 200 families with children suffering from a variety of illnesses. She found few had been told by the health and social services what benefits they were eligible for, and there was a "general lack of information" on what life would be like looking after a seriously ill child. The way the news was broken about children with life-threatening conditions was often impersonal or unsympathetic.

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