Faye never failed to put a smile on people’s faces. Always ready with a kind word or a hug, Faye’s infectious personality made a lasting impression on all who were lucky enough to have known her. Even though the last years of her short life were a continuous battle, she always put others first. Mum Carol shares how, after four months in intensive care, Bluebell Wood helped her say goodbye to her little girl in comfort and with dignity.

“Faye was always very much a people person and family was a huge thing for her,” said Carol. 

“She was happy, caring and very affectionate. She was one of those people who just loved life.”

At an early age Faye was diagnosed with what was thought to be an autoimmune condition, which is where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. But it wasn’t until near the end of her life that the severity of her condition became clear.

“As she got older her health did improve, but she did have her struggles over the years. We always put it down to the effects of the autoimmune condition. To look at her she was absolutely fine.”

When Faye was 13, a devastating kidney failure diagnosis changed everything.

“She was put on dialysis, which went on for two years. Her grandad then donated a kidney to her. She went to hospital for the transplant and there was a lovely moment that showed the type of person she was.

“After the operation she was in agony, but when she heard a baby crying somewhere else, she said to the nurse: ‘leave me alone and go and help that baby’”.

The transplant sadly didn’t give Faye the future she’d hoped for.

"A week after having the transplant she started having massive seizures and was put into an induced coma,” said Carol.

“She was in the coma for four months whilst the Doctors tried to stop the seizures but no amount of medication worked.  They really did try everything.

“Following a muscle biopsy, we were told that she had severe mitochondrial disease, a little understood condition for which there is no cure.

“After four months in an induced coma on such strong medication, all her organs started to fail and we were told that she was not going to recover.  We had to make the impossible and most heart-breaking decision to switch off her life support.”

At the doctors’ suggestion, the family then visited Bluebell Wood.

“My mum and I went for a visit and as soon as we walked in, we thought it was so lovely. It was an easy decision to make.

“It just felt so nice and relaxing, so very different to the intensive care unit where she’d spent the past four months. She was finally free of all the wires, needles and beeping machines. We wanted peacefulness and we found it at Bluebell Wood.”

Faye’s extended family, along with her beloved dog Barney, rushed to the hospice to be by her side. 

“My brother brought his guitar and he played one of her favourite songs ‘It’s all about you’ by Mcfly. We knew she could still hear us.

“In the early hours of the following morning, she passed away peacefully as we sat beside her.”

Faye was just fifteen years old when her family said their heart-breaking goodbyes. In the weeks and months that followed, Bluebell Wood’s counselling and sibling and bereavement support helped guide the family through the darkness.

“I felt like Bluebell Wood put me in a safe bubble after Faye died and it gave me chance to prepare myself for the real world. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without the protection of my little bubble.”

Carol’s experience with Bluebell Wood’s counselling service has even inspired her to volunteer with the Samaritans to help others in their hour of need.

“The counselling I received was phenomenal and I’m not sure I could have got through it without that support.”

Help us be there for families like Faye's