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Guildford hospice gave family "one last Christmas together"

Guildford hospice gave family "one last Christmas together"

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 21st November 2019.

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices has launched its Christmas appeal to help give families like Axel’s one last Christmas together.

He was just nine months old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and a week later, his parents Elin and Will were told he had tumours all over his brain and spine, and given less than 10 per cent chance of survival.

The next year and a half were spent in and out of hospitals as Axel underwent a range of treatments.

His parents also tried to make as many happy memories as possible with Axel and his older sister Martha. But eventually, there was nothing left that the doctors could do.  

On the 23rd December 2017 Axel died peacefully, at home.

Axel Shooting Star

Mum Elin said:

"In the week leading up to Christmas, when it was clear that Axel was deteriorating, we made the difficult decision to stop Axel’s treatment.

"That was a really hard day because it meant accepting that he was going to die.

"Shooting Star Children’s Hospices gave us a cold blanket so that when the time came to say goodbye, we could do it in our own time.

"Having a cold blanket meant that when Axel died he wasn’t ripped away from us. We could sit with him, hold his hand, stroke his hair and talk to him. Will carried him out of our house, four days later, when it felt right to us.

"It also meant that Martha, Axel’s sister, could have a Christmas and we could be with both of our children."

Axel Shooting Star

For Elin and Will, and the many other families who have been through the unimaginable, Christmas will never be the same again, but by supporting Shooting Star Children’s Hospices they can continue to be there for families long after a child has died.

Elin added: 

“Even the lead-up to Christmas, the whole of December, is hard. But Shooting Star Children’s Hospices have continued to be there for us with counselling and bereaved family days.

“Nothing about what we’ve been through is lucky, but we are extremely grateful that Shooting Star Children’s Hospices was there for us when we needed them.”

It costs Shooting Star Children’s Hospices £1.2 million each year to run their Hospice at Home service.

Just 10 per cent of the charity’s income comes from government funding, so they rely heavily on fundraising to ensure the vital service can continue to run, supporting 700 families across Surrey and 15 boroughs of London.

Find out how you can help