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Creating precious moments for children with life-limiting illnesses

3 minute read
Creating precious moments for children with life-limiting illnesses

Published at 7:00am 23rd December 2017.

With Christmas just days away, a children's hospice in Guildford has been helping families make memories they can treasure forever.

Shooting Star Chase has launched a campaign which focuses on creating 'the moment you'll never forget'.

Christopher's hospice, run by Shooting Star, provides care for many children with life-limiting illnesses. 

One of them is Guildford teenager George Ludlow who has been going there since 2012.

Up until the age of seven, he was living a healthy life, when one morning everything changed.  

His mother Nicky and her husband Phil found him lying awake in bed but completely paralysed on the right hand side. While they will never know for sure what happened, doctors believe he suffered a stroke.

Following more episodes including a tonic clonic seizure, he is now left with brain damage, very complex epilepsy and autism. 

Nicky describes what he is like now - at the age of 15: "He is funny. He loves going to Centre Parcs, He loves playing monopoly, playing games. He loves going on holiday as long as we go to the same place.

"But it has also left him with many difficulties. He goes to a specialist school, he struggles with routine, he gets very stressed very easily.

"But in some ways he's also a typical teenager, he hates shopping, he loves Harry Potter, but he finds socialising and life very difficult."

George Ludlow

His condition has had a big impact on his family, including his 13 year old sister Mia. 

However, since discovering Shooting Star Chase and Christopher's Hospice, their lives have improved dramatically. 

Nicky described how they have helped her and her family: "It's amazing, it's been a life-saver. It's given us so many special memories and moments with George as a family. It also gives us respite so that the other three of us can go and do things that George would find more difficult." 

She said this care is especially crucial during the stressful lead up to Christmas,

While his family prepares for Christmas Day, George goes to Christopher's for a few days so that he can relax and come out happy and stress free, meaning Christmas Eve is more enjoyable for the family. 

In past years he has also had some extra special Christmas experiences, such as meeting the Prime Minister and the X Factor judges. 

George Ludlow

Nicky is one of the parents involved in Shooting Star's Christmas campaign - and she is urging the community to donate. "Please help other families have the moments we've been lucky enough to get from Shooting Star Chase. 

"We've got no idea about George's future, but having these memories is so special to us as a family."

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