Pregnant with twins, and with two young children, single mum Nneka Egbunike sought support from Home-Start. Little did she know that this decision would play a pivotal role in reshaping her life.

During the traumatic birth of her twins, Nneka experienced a peri-cardiac arrest. Her Home-Start volunteer became her lifeline. 

Nneka shares the impact Home-Start had on her:

I’m so grateful to Home-Start Ealing, they helped bridge the transition period after the traumatic birth of the twins. They gave me the strength to face the challenges that unfolded, allowed me healing time and enabled me to be best version of myself for my children.”

Nneka was carefully matched with Zara, a Home-Start Ealing home visiting volunteer. Zara’s role extended beyond practical assistance, offering patience, understanding, encouragement, and unwavering emotional support.

Small acts of kindness

Having Zara’s support was amazing, it was woman to woman, mum to mum. We connected straight away. She would come to the house, and we’d do certain activities. We would talk, she would allow me space to spend time with my children. It gave me mental respite. Words can’t describe how much her being there helped me, she was a godsend.

“People do not understand the value of these small acts of kindness. It helps so much for your mental health. I couldn’t have done it by myself, it would simply have been too much. There’s such a power in women supporting other women. I encourage every woman who needs support, even if you have a partner, sometimes you just need someone else to be beside you, maybe not even saying anything, just being there.”

Seeking support at the right time made all the difference

Nneka’s proactive search for support was, in her words: “The best thing I could do for my family.” Nneka was under no illusion that being a single mum of twins, a mum of four, was going to be easy but Nneka’s experience in the delivery room affected her in ways she could not have predicted.

“When I was pregnant, I knew I needed to give my kids the best version of me and knew the only way I was able to do it was if I had community support. Irrespective of circumstances I wanted to give them the best start, that’s why I reached out to Home-Start. I am so glad I did this considering what happened next.

I flatlined whilst giving birth

“I was on my own for the birth of the twins. There were several complications that resulted in me flatlining, it was harrowing. I lost a lot of blood and was so lucky to have survived. Not only did I have newborn twins and two other young children, but I was also in huge amounts of pain plus I had to mentally process what nearly happened to me.

Zara made everything more manageable, I couldn’t have done it without her, I wasn’t alone anymore. Thanks to Home-Start, I have a new lease of life and I am so thankful for all the support I received, my children are thankful too.”

Read next: Laura's story - I didn't want Home-Start support

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