We understand that when a child has complex healthcare needs and requires round-the-clock care, the emotional and physical pressures on families can be immense. Taking a break from caring is not always possible.
Respite care provides you with the opportunity to do the things that you might not normally have the chance to do. Whether you chose for respite to be in your own home or in our hospice, you will have peace of mind that your child is being looked after by a caring team that they know and trust as well as having plenty of fun. This could be time in the hydrotherapy pool, making a mess in our creative learning zone, baking or relaxing in the sensory room.
Ours is a story of an ordinary family who were blessed with an extraordinary little boy. The journey that was to change our lives began in November 2001 when our precious first child was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just four years of age, there is nothing in this world that can prepare you for such a trauma, and life is never the same again.
Alexander was a very bright and funny child; he loved life and his family very much and had wisdom far beyond his years.
For us the grieving process started immediately, our whole world consumed by hospital appointments, doctors, nurses, operations, treatments, scans, stays in hospitals, etc. It was like being on an emotional roller coaster which you have no control over.
Our son endured four and a half years of operations, treatments and therapy and sadly died at the age of eight.
Through our experience and much research, it was clear that Berkshire needed its own children’s hospice. So we began the next chapter in our journey, the realisation of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service.
The word ‘hospice’ is not a word that many relate to with happy thoughts, and I much prefer the Latin ‘a resting place on life’s journey’. I know from our experience that you cannot go into a children’s hospice and not be filled instantly with love, laughter, happiness and tears. That is what we are all about, providing a safe place for all, a place to be yourself and have a safe pair of loving arms around you, as much or as little as you need them.
Alexander has left us as a family, and those that work at Alexander Devine, a beautiful legacy. We meet the most incredible children, families, supporters, donors and volunteers. Each of them has a different story and each valued and important.
Thank you for being a part of this journey, a journey that will continue on with your help and support.
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