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Children's hospice week: 'We felt as though we had no escape'

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 June 2019

Metin and Jade Hill with their children Grace, three, and Archie, five. Picture: Richard House

Metin and Jade Hill with their children Grace, three, and Archie, five. Picture: Richard House

Richard House

The mum of a three-year-old with a rare condition has told how the family "no longer feel isolated" thanks to the help of a hospice.

To mark children's hospice week, which runs from June 17 to 23, Jade Hill explained how Richard House Children's Hospice has helped the family to cope with little Grace's diagnosis of a rare chromesonal condition.

Jade, from Dagenham, said: "I don't think people realise how important hospices are to families like mine.

"We first came to Richard House about eight months ago and we were welcomed with open arms.

"It came at exactly the right time for us as we had been looking after Grace on our own for the first two years of her life."

Jade and her husband Metin are also parents to five-year-old Archie, and the support provided by the Beckton-based hospice has allowed them to spend time with him while Grace stays at the hospice for respite care.

"Grace's condition can make us feel very isolated as a family," Jade said.

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"We were staring at the same four walls every day, doing the same things to care for her over and over and over again, feeling as though we had no escape.

"Now Grace receives so much love and care from the staff when she visits the hospice.

"We know that they provide excellent palliative care to Grace, giving us the peace of mind that allows us to spend some valuable one-on-one time with Archie."

Richard House hopes to use children's hospice week to encourage more families caring for seriously ill youngsters to come forward and use their services.

Libby Basson, director of family care and services, said: "Children's palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of children with a life-limiting illness.

"Our 30 care staff are amazing and families tell us how important they are to them.

"During children's hospice week we are holding a special afternoon tea for the care staff to thank them for their hard work and commitment."

Richard House currently provides support for more than 300 families across east London. For more information visit richardhouse.org.uk

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