Read Neeta’s inspiring story on how she was supported during her child’s illness

The people behind sky posted on 23 Jun

“During this awful time there was one thing that always stayed constant and that was the support I received from Sky.”

Sky Careers

Neeta Patel, Area Manager

I started working here in 2007 as a Customer Experience Leader. I had my only child in 2008 and everything was awesome as Sky allowed me to build my career and balance my work and home life - things were in a fantastic place. I worked really hard to develop myself in to an area manager from Customer Service Group to within Sky Retail Services and ventured in to an area that was unknown as all I had known since I was 16 was call centres! I was curious and despite everything, I worked really hard in Retail and my area engagement went from strength to strength.

However, on the 26th June 2016 my healthy, active boy got a high fever. At first I thought it was just a fever and he would get better with Calpol, however he never did. As any parent would, I took Neeyan to the GP and we got told he had a viral infection, but I just knew something wasn’t right. The most traumatic 14 days followed and Neeyan was clinically diagnosed with Kawasaki disease.

During this awful time there was one thing that always stayed constant and that was the support I received from Sky. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank my team and Retail for all the support they provided us whilst we stayed in hospital. My team and peers all clubbed together to get Neeyan a PS4 which was a God send during the 6 – 8 week recovery. My manager at the time was brilliant and provided me with so much support via time off to care for Neeyan, a phased return to work back in the business and support for me whilst at work so I could integrate back in to the business.

My manager then changed and naturally I was nervous, however my new manager has been super supportive in how he has supported me, when at times I doubted myself. I had a mentor assigned to me from within the region and she was absolutely brilliant in supporting me and helping me with my confidence. My manager and I worked together to set daily goals on what I wanted to achieve and we would review these every week. This really gave me the confidence and once again showed how supportive we are.

One year on and I try to turn our negative in to a positive and actively raise awareness so no other child’s heart is damaged moving forward. Kawasaki disease is the number 1 cause to acquired heart disease in children in the UK, yet the awareness is very limited.

The icing on the cake has to be when I took our story to my Director and CEO and they both responded immediately. I wanted to raise awareness in our main headquarters and I was blown away with the response I got. This just cemented to me why Sky is such a great place to work. The company don’t have to support my awareness campaign however they are supporting me and this is so important to me and just shows what a fantastic place Sky is to work. They really do care for their people and I very often come across articles where someone at Sky has done a great thing to help someone else. To be on the receiving end is just so awesome and I will always be grateful to Sky for allowing me to raise awareness.