Two very special sisters

Two young girls are outdoors walking with the help of walkers. They are smiling at the camera.

Emily and Olivia can be just like any sisters. Rivals one minute, then best friends the next. They do everything together and share a special bond.

But there’s another kind of connection these two little girls share…

Six-year-old Emily and four-year-old Olivia both live with a life-limiting condition.

It is already beyond belief how a family can cope with one child who has a life-limiting condition. Having two children diagnosed with serious illness is unimaginable. But for Emily and Olivia’s parents, Claire and Andrew, this is their daily reality.

Claire shared, “Our girls need so much assistance with every single thing. They can’t feed themselves. They can’t dress themselves.”

Andrew described, “We were really struggling to cope. Olivia’s oximeter alarm was going off all through the night. She needed constant attention. One day, we were sitting at the kitchen table exhausted, and said to one another, ‘We can’t keep this up anymore between the two kids.’”

That’s when Very Special Kids came into their lives, and things started to become a little easier. It was the circuit breaker this family needed – and it’s all because people like you make our vital care possible.

An absolute essential lifeline to parents like Claire and Andrew is access to hospice respite care with dedicated nursing professionals trained in palliative care.

With their child’s complex medical needs, it’s rarely possible to have help from family or friends. Your support can give free access to overnight respite, plus essential services like physiotherapy, and occupational therapy for very special kids.

It was such peace of mind for us, knowing they had each other and would be well looked after – medically, physically, and emotionally.”

Claire, mum to Emily and Olivia

Not only is respite care a much-needed break for parents, it’s also something children look forward to. As well as being able to take care of complex medical needs, our team are full of energy and love to create a fun environment where children can play games and activities together.

Today, Emily and Olivia continue to need constant, 24-7 complex care. Both girls are non-verbal and they need the help of wheelchairs and walkers to get around.

Andrew said, “It takes us an hour to get out of the house with all the equipment, oxygen, and medications the kids need. It’s hard because if we want to go out to see friends or do something fun, we are so limited. It can be full on.

It’s beyond heart-wrenching for Claire and Andrew to spend each day worrying if their precious children will be able to live a full life doing the things other children can do.

You can help make one thing certain – that Very Special Kids will continue to be here for families like Emily and Olivia’s when they need us. Please give a gift today to help make sure our children’s hospice will always be ready to provide respite and care for every family and child who has a life-limiting condition.

You can make a life-changing donation here.