Claire Malcolmson, of Gleadless, said her last heartbreaking farewell to her eight-year-old son Joe at the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Rotherham in 2015.
His beloved son, affectionately known to everyone at the hospice as “Mr. Joe, ”suffered from a progressive genetic disease called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which meant he needed 24-hour care.
He and his family have visited the hospice for several years for respite care and support and as a thank you, Claire has designed and manufactured a range of key chains sold through Bluebell Wood’s online. shop.
Recalling the first time Claire and Joe visited Bluebell Wood, the grieving mom said: “I was really scared and worried it would be like being in the hospital, where Joe had had such a terrible time. much of his little life. But as soon as you walk through the doors, you realize it’s like being at home.
“Bringing him to Bluebell Wood meant he could stay with the nurses while I slept well. I also have chronic kidney disease, which means I have to have dialysis, so having that extra help and support has really changed my life.
After Joe passed away in 2015, Claire stayed with her baby boy in one of the hospice’s end-of-life suites.
“It gave me precious time to spend with my beautiful boy until his celebration, which meant more than I can say,” Claire added.
“Joe didn’t always get it right, due to severe brain bleeding at birth causing neurological issues – but he knew when a voice was angry, happy, or loving. At Bluebell Wood, he’s always been surrounded by a lot of love.
“I will always be grateful to Bluebell Wood for making my time with my amazing Mr. Joe the best ever, and I will always do whatever I can to help other families receive the same love, the same care and the same support as us. . “
Claire started making her key chains when she was having trouble sleeping.
“As a single mom, I got up every three hours all night for Joe’s care, and after he passed it didn’t stop overnight,” she said.
“I didn’t have a reason or a purpose to be awake, so it seemed like a really good way to use the time.
“When I showed them to other parents in the bereavement group in Bluebell Wood, there were quite a few who wanted one for themselves, and it all built from there.
“It’s been six years since Joe passed away and you fear everyone will forget him. So besides helping the place that has done so much for us, it’s a way to keep Joe’s memory alive.
Terri Hanson, Retail Manager at Bluebell Wood, said: “Claire’s designs are truly magnificent and we are extremely grateful that she uses her talents to help raise funds for the hospice.
“We are so proud that we can help keep Mr. Joe’s memory alive and every penny we raise through charms will help us be there for other local families when they need our care and support.”
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