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Abdullah Basit

18 June 2024

Abdullah Basit’s face lights up when he realises he’s about to go to Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice

The 15-year-old and his family have been supported by the only children’s hospice in Cumbria since moving to the county a little over a decade ago. 

Abdullah has quadriplegic cerebral palsy which causes muscle stiffness in his arm and legs and reduced head control. He also has hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid on the brain, epilepsy, global developmental delay and has a g-tube, which is placed directly into the stomach to give direct access for feeding, hydration or medicine. 

“Abdullah also suffers from a lot of issues with his digestion, stomach ulcers and has had two surgeries recently,” mum Sana explains. 

“Abullah doesn’t have any verbal communication and needs one-to-one support, 24 hours a day for his health and care needs.” 

Jigsaw’s care

This is why Jigsaw has become such a lifeline for Abdullah Basit, who lives in Whitehaven, and his wider family as the only facility of its kind in the area. 

Sana adds: “Abdullah gets a very high level of care and support during his stays in Jigsaw. It’s like a holiday break for him, where he is safe, well cared for and supported by staff that are trained to cater for his medical needs.    

“He is a very sociable boy who loves to be around people and visiting new places. He loves coming to Jigsaw and has some favorite staff members. His face lights up when he recognises the area near Jigsaw when we drive closer, and he starts vocalising to signal that he wants to be taken out of the car as soon as we park outside. 

“Abdullah loves the staff; he is especially happy if he is staying at the same time as his friends from school and is sad whenever I come to pick him up to take him home at the end of his visit. 

When Abdullah stays in Jigsaw he is able to access the Smoothie Bar, the hospice’s dedicated games and activities room, the sensory room and go out for walks with the staff. 

As well as Abdullah being cared for, his visits to Jigsaw also mean Sana can have a break from her caring duties and spend precious time with Abdullah’s sister. 

“I can relax while Abdullah is at Jigsaw because I know the staff are medically qualified and capable of dealing with his complex health needs,” Sana adds. 

“Abdullah’s stays at Jigsaw help me spend quality time with Abdullah’s sister. I took her to Legoland Manchester during one of Abdullah’s stays, and we visited the Glasgow Science Centre another time. These visits wouldn’t have been possible without Jigsaw.  

“Jigsaw also supports us as a family by lending us an ear whenever I feel worried or have concerns for Abdullah’s health and the pressures of caring for a child with additional needs. They also provide us with useful information and always check up on us during Abdullah’s hospital admissions.”