Mum’s swim in memory of Mr Joe

An inspirational mum is to take to the water to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, in memory of her son Joe.

Claire Malcolmson and her son Joe, known as the Amazing Mr Joe, were supported for several years by the North Anston hospice. Mr Joe was eight-years-old when he passed away in May last year.

Mr Joe had an undiagnosed neurological syndrome. He had a range of complex medical conditions; he was blind, never slept well, needed medication every three hours and had sleep apnoea.

Claire will take on a sponsored swim on Thursday 19th May at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre, when she plans to swim 50 lengths. She had planned to do this just before Mr Joe passed away but there was not the time. Claire said that doing something Bluebell Wood, where she still receives counselling, helped her to focus on something positive.

Claire said: “I have been training and it’s been hard but my Mr Joe was so brave, this is something I need to do in his memory for Bluebell Wood as they have been wonderful throughout.

“The first time we visited Bluebell Wood in December 2008 I was really scared and was so worried it would be just like being in hospital. Joe had already spent so much of his little life in hospital. But from the minute you walk through the doors, you realise it couldn’t be more different; it’s just like being at home.”

Although Joe couldn’t talk, for such a little man he had a big shout when he needed to. He loved music – very loud music.

Joe sometimes let the play co-ordinators at Bluebell Wood paint his feet; at other times he let people know he didn’t want to be touched. Claire added: “They are fantastic at creating wonderful keepsake artwork and fun sensory messy play, adapting things to each child or young person. Joe wouldn’t use his hands for any art work but my living room is full of Joe’s gorgeous little feet pictures, from bluebells to frogs.”

When Mr Joe passed away, Claire stayed with him in the hospice’s End of Life suite, Forget Me Not. She said: “Staying at Bluebell wood in their Forget Me Not room gave me precious time to spend with my beautiful boy until his celebration, which meant more than I can say, us both being surrounded by love and care.

“Joe didn’t always understand things, due to having a large bleed on his brain at birth causing neurological problems, but he knew when a voice was angry or happy and loving too… And at Bluebell wood he was always surrounded by lots of love.”

To sponsor Claire, visit


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