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Isla’s story: Our hospice made life so much easier

Children’s hospices provide vital support for children and young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. Everything they do is #ForTheChildren – helping families make the most of their lives together, no matter how short.

This Children’s Hospice Week we are showing how important each individual child is to the amazing local hospices who care for them. They provide a lifeline #ForTheChildren like Isla.

Isla was born with Gorlin syndrome, which leaves her with an increased risk of developing cancer. At just three months old, she had a tracheostomy, then two and half years later, Isla was breathing independently, with the tracheostomy tube removed in the summer of 2018. In many ways, life seemed back to normal for the family. Scroll on to February 2020 and Isla was clearly unwell again.

“Then, I found a hard lump in her stomach.” A biopsy revealed a cancerous tumour on her kidney, with an immediate and intensive 27 weeks of chemo following its removal. By July, however, the hospice team were involved in Isla’s care.

“When you know something is wrong with your child but not exactly what, it’s very frightening – it’s the stage when you feel things are spiralling out of control.” This is when Isla’s mum Gemma, found the support she needed from her hospice ellenor. Now the family is finding day-to-day living manageable again.

“We’re so grateful to have a whole team of people supporting us – family, friends, medical experts – and the brilliant team at our hospice @ellenor is a key part of the network, that’s helping us get on with our lives.”

Isla’s mum Gemma,

“We were referred to the hospice @ellenor, so that we could have help at home,” explains Gemma.

“I was really surprised, though, to learn that the charity offers so much holistic support for people who are more preoccupied with living than dying. It’s not possible under the current circumstances, but we know that the hospice has also offered fantastic support in terms of holidays for families, and group days out.”

Gemma says that the hospice’s team weekly presence and constant availability at the end of the phone, “has made life so much easier” for her and Ashley.

Children’s hospices like @ellenor provide vital support for children and young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. Show your support #ForTheChildren this #ChildrensHospiceWeek.

Family stories