A seven year old girl from Bexhill is the face of a new fundraising appeal by Demelza Hospice Care for Children.
Milly’s Appeal is asking people to support the work Demelza does with the families of hundreds of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Families like the Bewick-Clahanes, from Bexhill.
Mum and dad Becky and Ben turned to the Demelza Community nursing team for help caring for Milly, who has an undiagnosed condition that means she needs constant one-to-one care.
The little girl is unable to walk, needs to be fed through a tube, and is at constant risk of having a seizure.
With three other children – Maisey, Jonas and Noah – to care for, the couple became desperate for support, which is where Demelza came in. The charity’s community nursing service offers respite care at home to families across East Sussex.
For Becky and Ben, that means the chance to spend time with their other children, and with each other.
“Demelza has helped us to carry on with normality when times are tough. When Milly is in hospital our Demelza nurses help with our other children, as well as offering emotional support to the whole family,” said Becky.
“For the first time in a year, Maisey was able to go to the park with me without having to go home early.
“Without their help day to day when Milly is ill it would just be too difficult to juggle everything.”
Toni Finnimore, Demelza Community Services Manager, added: “Thanks to our supporters we are able to help families in East Sussex by allowing them time away from the pressures of parenting to relax.
“Time offered to families in the community can ensure a parent is able to return to the family home re-energised.
“Practical and emotional support is also offered within the community team in the form of education, family support services, advocacy and crisis intervention where required.
“Milly’s Appeal will help us to continue to grow and develop this essential service for families when they need it most.”
As a charity, not part of the NHS, Demelza is reliant on fundraising and donations to raise the £10.5 million needed every year to provide its services in East Sussex and at its hospices in Kent and South East London.
Demelza offers a community hospice at home service for children and young people up to the age of 19, providing therapies, respite and end-of-life care in the comfort of a child’s own home across East Sussex.
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