Lily’s Mum shares her story and explains what Bluebell Wood means to her family.
Lily was born in January 2009 and spent a week in Intensive Care as she had a hole in her chest. This required treatment and Lily fought this problem with only a little help from oxygen, it was apparent then that Lily was so strong and a little fighter.
She grew well and developed, meeting all of her developmental milestones until around 12 months of age. Around Christmas time Lily stopped crawling and became more and more sleepy, things that she once did with ease were becoming harder and harder for her to do.
Just a few days after Lily’s 1st birthday I found her unconscious and unresponsive. She was rushed to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where it was confirmed that she had suffered a stroke due to a large brain tumour. Lily was immediately transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where we were told that she was fighting for her life.
She underwent three operations to try and relieve the pressure on her brain, to take a biopsy and to remove the tumour, all of these made little difference to her condition. It was then confirmed that Lily had suffered brain damage which included loss of sight and we were told that her illness was terminal.
We were introduced to the idea of Bluebell Wood by one of the nurses at the hospital. From looking at their website and talking to other parents the place sounded too good to be true. I wanted Lily’s last days to be spent with us as a family in a less clinical, more relaxed environment. I wasn’t sure that a hospice was the right place for this, the word hospice makes you think of a dark, depressing place where people go at the end of their lives. We were using the hospice for this purpose but the days before her death were spent together as a family and happy.
From the moment you walk through the doors you’re greeted with smiling faces and it instantly puts you at ease. The care that Lily received at Bluebell Wood was fantastic and they not only cared for Lily but us as a family.
Having the ‘Forget-me-not’ suite meant that once Lily had died we could spend time with her until we were ready to say goodbye. Lily had a bedroom all of her own right next to ours so we could see her whenever we wanted. They helped us plan Lily’s Funeral, were there when it came to telling our other child that Lily had died and continue to be there for us now.
Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice is a truly wonderful place filled with smiles and laughter, a place we will be ever thankful of.
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