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Sunday, 17 October 2021
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“Christmas this year will be different for everyone, for us Christmas will never be the same again”

THIS Christmas, local children’s hospice charity Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is asking you to help give families facing the unimaginable the chance to say goodbye. Families like Ted’s.

As first-time parents, Amber and Arthur were overjoyed when they welcomed their son into the world. However, Ted (8), didn’t seem to be developing how he should be. After what seemed like never-ending tests, Ted was diagnosed with Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome (AGS) which meant he had brain damage and ultimately needed 24-hour-care.

Ted’s parents Amber and Arthur explained:

“Everything seemed so overwhelming, but when we were told that Shooting Star Children’s Hospices would be able to support us, it was like a hole had been filled, a weight lifted we didn’t know how much we needed a lifeline until we were given one.

“We can’t put into words what having Shooting Star Children’s Hospices means to us. So many special memories with Ted are at the hospice and we always hoped that, when the time came, Ted would die peacefully there with his family around him. But sadly, it didn’t happen that way.”

Earlier this year Ted picked up the flu and fever and slipped into unconsciousness. The hospital told the family that Ted needed to be intubated and put on life support, but he went into cardiac arrest during theatre.

Ted died in hospital on 2nd March 2020.

"Christmas this year will be different for everyone, for us Christmas will never be the same again"
Ted cheering on dad Arthur from the hospice as he ran the London Marathon 2019

Ted’s parents continued:

“Without Shooting Star Children’s Hospices we don’t know what we would have done, they were there for us from the moment he died. Everything happened so quickly, so when Ted was finally moved to the hospice it meant our family and close friends had the time they needed to say goodbye to Ted, they needed that closure.

“You can never prepare for the heartache of losing your child, but the support of the care team kept us going. They created hand casts and handprints for us, which we’ll always treasure. Saying goodbye to your child is such a heart-breaking and unnatural thing to have to do, but in the hospice setting, it’s beautiful really.

“We will be forever grateful that we got to say goodbye to Ted at the place that felt like home. There will forever be a part of our family missing and Christmas will be incredibly sad this year, but we will celebrate all the years we had with Ted and the lovely memories of Christmas time at the hospice.”

"Christmas this year will be different for everyone, for us Christmas will never be the same again"
Dad Arthur with Ted in the Sensory Room at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices Guildford hospice, Christopher’s

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices has been part of Ted and his family’s lives for six years. With support from the local community, the charity can continue to be there for families like Ted’s long after a child has died, through times like Christmas and beyond.

The difficulties faced by families supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices have been intensified during this extremely tough year. Your support can make the world of difference to families facing the unimaginable this Christmas.

Find out how you can support at: shootingstar.org.uk/christmas

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