Mum to walk for son’s memory

A mother is to take part in a midnight walk in memory of her son who was cared for by staff at a Newham hospice.

Liz Forbes’ 13-year-old son Joshua was cared for and later died at Richard House Children’s Hospice in Beckton. Now Liz, 49, from Brixton, hopes to complete the 10-mile route around the Docklands on June 25.

Joshua, who suffered from complex epilepsy, received palliative care from the hospice for two years before passing away on July 15.

And while admitting the centre holds “bittersweet memories” for her family, Liz said she would do anything to help the teams of carers who looked after her son.

She said: “Richard House was Joshua’s second home. His eyes used to light up when he went there and he loved everybody from the receptionist, to the cooks, cleaners, office workers and carers.


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“He was such a charmer to everyone. I remember the final time he came to the hospice. He was really poorly but he opened his eyes when he arrived and was smiling at everyone. He died the next day.”

Joshua was diagnosed with epilepsy aged four and received increasing amounts of medication over the next nine years, although none could stop the progression of his condition.

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Occasionally, he would sleep for weeks on end and over the years, trips to hospital and Richard House became increasingly frequent.

Liz said: “Joshua did so much living while he was at Richard House. He was my little boy, but he was also Richard House’s boy and it will always hold a special place in my family’s hearts.”

The event will take her and hundreds of other walkers from London City Airport, through Canary Wharf and back again. On the way, participants will stop at three “holiday destinations” where they will be able to sample food and cultural delights from India, Egypt and the Caribbean.

To sign up for the walk, visit www.richardhouse.org/ladiesmidnightwalk or call Manjeet Boparai on (020) 7540 0204.

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