We estimate that there are 49,000 children and young people across the UK who are unlikely to reach adulthood. Families caring for these children - often 24 hours a day, seven days a week – are under enormous emotional, physical and financial strain. These are ordinary people leading extraordinary lives.
Meet some of the families.
Twenty year old Lucy has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She spoke at the Together for Short Lives parliamentary reception at Westminster where we urged MPs to adopt eight priorities for their parties’ General Election manifestos that, if implemented, would transform children’s palliative care in the UK.
After having two healthy children, Caroline and David were thrilled to welcome a new addition to their family. But straight away Caroline knew there was something wrong with her new son, Charlie. This is their story.
Since visiting Butterwick House Children’s Hospice Paige has never been happier and her mum is very thankful for the respite the hospice provides.
Harvey lived for just four years, but his parents were struck by the kindness and wonderful care they received towards the end of his life, creating positive memories that will live forever.
The Lloyd Family
Dan and Sam are 17 year old identical twins and their brother Tom is 14. When the twins were five years old they were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder which affects boys.
When Mum Gemma was 12 weeks pregnant with her daughter Millie, a routine scan showed there was excess fluid on the back of Millie’s neck.
Parents Helen and Vince live in Devon with their two daughters Harriet and Lily. Helen and Vince also had a little boy called Toby, who was born when sister Harriet was two years old. Very sadly Toby lived for just over 36 hours.
Zoe is 19 and lives in Berkshire with her mum Liz. She made the transition from Helen House children’s hospice across the garden to Douglas House for young adults, for respite visits.