Many people who don’t use social media, don’t see the point, see it as silly or a waste of time. Personally I use it as an oppotunity to communicate with people, as well as keep in touch with news, local issues and to get a general feel of public mood. I follow a range of people, some international public figures, UK politicos and the like, but also a lot of local people.. However it was put into an entirely new context when reading the tweets of someone in my local area, over a period of days and weeks that had me on an emotional rollercoaster and almost dreading the next tweet to appear.
On Kingsway there is a chap called Glenn, he is a QPR supporter and we follow each other on Twitter, his user name is @Gtrafford , but I don’t believe we have ever actually met. However, one day a few weeks back there was a number of tweets from him about how his son, Cosmo, who was just a few weeks old, had suffered a massive heart attack. Their neighbours helped give CPR for a very long period of time while the ambulance came and got him to hospital. Over the next few days, Glenn kept everyone up to date with what was going on with updates using the hashtag #Cosmo.
There was a particular thing that really stood out for me, at what was (and still is) a very stressful time for them, they were very quick to raise the awareness of those who were providing the medical care and support to Cosmo, and with his move to Bristol they made what I think was a very selfless move to raise money for the Hospital that were supporting them through the Wallace and Gromit Grand appeal. I have seen many people who are very thankful for the care received and doing some fund-raising afterwards when it’s all better, but to actually be that selfless when your actually going through the trauma was incredible.
This also struck a very personal cord for me as when I was 6 years old I lost a brother who was 12 months old in very similar circumstances, and to read the tweets brough out some very vivid memories for me and I could acutely empathise with what had happened, but it also made me look at my brother’s death with the eyes of a parent and therefore have more understanding of what my own parents must have gone through at the time.
Thankfully Cosmo is now back home, it is unclear at the moment what the long term prospects are and I we can all just hope for the best. It was such a novel experience in so many ways, being on tenterhooks about a child life who lives just around the corner, but who you have never actually met. From reading their tweets it was clear thatthey also drew a lot of persoanl strength from the messages of support hey were getting from such a wide range of people and it helped them though that very traumatic period.
In a blog based #ff – I encourage you to follow Glen on Twitter @GTrafford and read the Journey. Also, take an extra minute to go to their Just Giving page and help them reach their target for a very worthy cause – http://www.justgiving.com/CosmoTrafford – They have already raised over £600, help them get to their target of £1000