Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Founder returns to Jessie May as Honorary President on year of special anniversary

JESSIE May Children’s Hospice at Home was first established by Chris and Philippa Purrington following the death of their baby daughter, Jessica May Purrington. This spring, on the 12th of May, Jessica would have turned 30 and to add to this poignant landmark Jessie May welcomes Philippa back to the charity, as their Honorary President.

The Jessie May Trust was set up by Chris and Philippa after they realised the at-home care they received during Jessica’s end-of-life diagnosis was not available in the Bristol area. Jessica was able to be cared for at home throughout her illness until she died in her father’s arms, with dignity, surrounded by love.

Philippa and Chris were determined to make this sort of care accessible, with the launch of Jessie May in 1996 allowing for children with life-limiting conditions to be supported by a trained nurse in their own homes and be given the chance to die at home when the time comes.

It was so important to Philippa that Jessica experienced as much as she could in her short lifetime; she wanted a sense of normality for her daughter. When taking her to the hospital in Bristol, Philippa was taken aback to see a baby boy alone crying who had nobody with him. She later found out that he had a life-limiting condition and that his family was unable to be with him. This deeply affected Philippa, as she recognised that he needed to be with his family and not isolated in a hospital room.

And so, the Jessie May Trust was born.

Jessie May CEO Daniel Cheesman is delighted by the news, he said:

“We are incredibly proud to announce Philippa as Honorary President for Jessie May. It feels like a full-circle moment but also incredibly poignant as 2024 marks what would have been Jessica’s 30th birthday. Philippa’s vision has helped create the charity that we are today and means that we can support the hundreds of Jessie May children, young people and their families that we do today.”

Philippa said:

“To be invited back feels like coming home. Jessie May is where I belong.”

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