Incredible mum’s poignant walk raises thousands
“They gave us so much care, support and happy memories at the worst possible time and for that we are deeply grateful.”
Over the Easter weekend, Emma Lowe, along with her mum Sarah, embarked on a very special four day walk in memory of her son Joshua and to raise vital funds for the children’s hospice services that gave her family “so much kindness and support”.
In November last year, Emma and her husband Peter’s beautiful baby boy Joshua was just five weeks old when he developed a devastating meningitis. He sadly passed away at just seven weeks old. Joshua and his family were cared for and supported during this tragic time by firstly Helen & Douglas House in Oxfordshire and then Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service in Berkshire.
Emma explained how the support her family received from both children’s hospices made such a difference during the “worst possible time” for her family:
“Joshua was our beautiful boy, calm and gentle from the day he was born he was an angelic baby in every way. At five weeks he developed a devastating meningitis and was taken off his ventilator a few days later. The next 11 days were an unreal journey from the PICU ward in John Radcliffe to Helen & Douglas House Hospice in Oxford and then finally to Alexander Devine in Maidenhead where he died on 23rd November 2021. While the situation was heartbreaking and gruelling, the support and kindness we met along the way was humbling.
After transferring out of hospital care into hospice care, we very quickly realised that this was absolutely the best place for Joshua and us all, our initial apprehension at leaving a familiar place and people almost instantly gone.
The hospice care that we received at both Helen & Douglas House and Alexander Devine was incredible. Firstly they gave us our baby back, we could cuddle him and take him for walks. We were much more a part of his care and gave us a ‘home from home’ environment that was warm and comfortable but filled with 24 hr support and company through what would be an eight day long journey.
Our daughter Charlotte was welcomed with toys, a pool and wonderful people to entertain her, the happiness and wellbeing of us as a family seen as a huge priority at that time. They gave us so much care, support and happy memories at the worst possible time and for that we are deeply grateful.”
In honour of Joshua’s final journey between the two hospices, Emma challenged herself to walk the 79 miles to help raise vital funds for both charities, which rely nearly entirely on fundraising and donations to run their vital services and be able to support families like theirs. So far she has raised nearly £7,000.
For Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, providing end of life care for baby Joshua and his family at its hospice was particularly poignant in realising the ambitions of the Devine family in making a safe and welcoming environment for families to be together, surrounded by the skill and experience of dedicated professionals, at an unimaginable time. Giving families choice and control over where they would like their child to receive the specialist end of life care that children require.
Fiona Devine, CEO and Co-Founder, Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service said:
“It was such a pleasure and heart warming moment to welcome Emma and her Mum at the end of their walk, back to Alexander Devine. It was an emotional moment for us all but a truly positive way to remember baby Joshua.
To know the experience that Emma, Peter and Charlotte received here with us at Alexander Devine during Joshua’s short but hugely meaningful life, means everything to me. I had the great honour of meeting baby Joshua when he was here at the hospice and he was an absolutely beautiful boy. Joshua will always be remembered, loved and treasured, as will all the children we care for at Alexander Devine.”
Emma’s JustGiving page remains open if you would like to show your support
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The word hospice should not seem scary and getting support from us doesn’t have to mean a child’s death is imminent. Helping to enrich the lives of the children and their families is at the heart of our service, our end of life and bereavement support is just a part of what we do.
Our children’s hospice service covers the whole of Berkshire and into surrounding counties. If you think your child may be eligible for our services, please do get in touch.
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