WHEN a family from Guernsey found themselves needing to quickly travel across to Southampton in 2021 for their daughter’s cancer treatment, they didn’t realise the city would become their home-from-home.

Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation – a Guernsey-based charity – operate two flats next to Southampton General Hospital, providing accommodation to Guernsey families with premature or unwell children needing overseas care.

Tom, 36, and Helen McGahy, 41, and their daughters, Romy and Zephyr aged six and two, have been staying in one of these flats for 14 months while Romy receives lifesaving care for neuroblastoma – a rare cancer.

Romy’s resilience has inspired her dad, who has raised more than £2,000 for the charity’s compassionate housing by dramatically changing his hairstyle.

Jack Rabbits Barbers in Southampton transformed Tom’s long locks into a glowing pink mohawk free of charge.

READ MORE: Recreational ground submerged as flooding hits town

Tom told the Daily Echo: “In the aid of charity I organised a vote where friends and family could choose between three different hairstyles and the mohawk came out on top.

“There was the suggestion of colouring the mohawk, so we ended up doing that, I must have been there five hours in the end.”

Tom and his family have had to transition to life in Southampton as they are yet to return to Guernsey, making sure they can be near Romy in the hospital at all times.

Daily Echo:

“We've been very isolated,” said Tom.

“Romy’s treatment causes her immune system to be very weak, so we have to stay away from large crowds, just in case you were to catch any sort of bug.

“Because for her, it's much more serious while she's on treatment. So, whilst we've been here in Southampton, we've spent a lot of time just near the hospital.”

Though Tom has been unable to sample much of the city, he was quick to praise the work done at the city’s hospital.

He said: “Southampton General Hospital is one of the leading hospitals for cancer care and research, so it's fantastic this is where we are.

“We know Romy is being looked after by some of the leading professionals in this field.

“We couldn't be in a better position.”

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't just take my word for it - subscribe today.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by searching Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents on Facebook

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated group by searching Hampshire Court and Crime News on Facebook