Eighteen year old Benjamin Price from Pembroke was born with spinabifida as a result of which he can experience severe pain. It also restricts his mobility to such an extent that he is effectively bed bound for much of the time.
The family was referred to Tŷ Hafan only fairly recently but already it has made a difference to Benjamin and his mum and dad who normally provide all of his care on a day to day basis.
As well as providing short break care at the hospice, there is a four-woman family liaison team which, between them, provide support to over 300 families across Wales.
Tracy Hill from that team at Tŷ Hafan remembers going down to meet Benjamin for the first time when he was in Withybush Hospital having just had a gastrostomy tube fitted through which he is fed.
“It wasn’t long before we discovered that we were both huge Elvis fans so we had a common interest right from the start.” said Tracy
“As it turns out Benjamin’s first visit to Tŷ Hafan coincided with the very popular Elvis festival which is held every year in Porthcawl. So having contacted the organisers they very kindly came up with complimentary tickets for the whole family and by arranging for the care staff from Tŷ Hafan to accompany them they had a wonderful and memorable day. Benjamin even got to meet some of the Elvis’s after the show”
For his second visit to the hospice, during which Benjamin celebrated his birthday, Tracy arranged again for “Elvis” to go along to sing.
“Because we could see that Benjamin was relaxed and happy, while we were at Tŷ Hafan it meant that we were too” said Beauty, his mum. “Even at the festival it meant that we were able to enjoy it with him and not have to worry about his care.