Jessie May, a Bristol-based charity which offers in-home palliative care for children with life shortening conditions, is celebrating all thing children’s palliative care as part of Children’s Hospice Week, which runs between Monday 20 June and Sunday 26 June. This year, Jessie May is celebrating the care and support it provides #ForTheChildren by highlighting two beautiful stories from two of their specialist Jessie May nurses.
Jessie May nurses help to provide essential support for families from the point of their child’s diagnosis, for respite, for end-of-life care for their child, through to bereavement. Jessie May nurse Gemma Warren, recently supported a family whose child was at the end of their life.
“I knew the family so well; I was able to advocate for their wishes for their child which essentially was to be at home as a family spending as much time together as possible. They could take their child into the garden to feel the sun on their face and hear the birds singing, or they could have a cuddle in bed, in their own pyjamas reading stories (in hospital the beds aren’t big enough for a parent to cuddle their child in bed).
“The child had a big family and if they were in hospital, they would not all have been able to visit. By being at home, the child was able to see all their family and feel the love that they had for him.
“If my role means that the child can die in the most comfortable way possible, in surroundings that they’re familiar with and people who they know and trust and love, then that’s why I do it. For the children.”
When Arthur was in intensive care, he was stressed and unhappy. He had lost all trust in the doctors and nurses because of all the procedures he’d had to have. Arthur’s mum Melanie is full of praise for their Jessie May nurse Andy Sweetnam (pictured top).
“Arthur gets so excited when Andy visits, his face lights up! He beams a huge cheesy grin and starts to do a little ‘wiggle-dance’ – doesn’t every child deserve to have the quality of life where they wiggle–dance? Andy came and he lit up. The relationship that they have means that he trusts Andy – and Andy brings the fun! Having a Jessie May nurse makes such a huge difference for Arthur when he must have hospital stays.”
To find out more about why Jessie May nurses do what they do #ForTheChildren or to make a donation to support this vital work, you can visit https://jessiemay.org.uk/for-the-children/