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£5 could provide bereavement support to help a family cope with the death of a child.

Rainbow Trust Summer Appeal 2024

Thousands of families like Jaxson's need our support today, but we cannot do it without your help.

Jaxson's Story

When Jaxson was just three years old he was diagnosed with leukaemia. He had been complaining that his legs were aching and painful but his parents, Sophie and Mitch, thought that maybe he had pulled something.

One evening, whilst staying at Sophie's mum’s, she called Sophie very worried as Jaxson had a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. Later on, they noticed a lump on his neck and rang 111 who suspected it was mumps. Four days later, Jaxson was lethargic and his temperature reached 40 degrees. The doctor said it was tonsillitis but soon after he was referred to Bristol Children’s Hospital. Mitch wasn’t allowed in because this was at the height of the pandemic.

After some blood tests Sophie was taken to a room, away from Jaxson, to talk. The nurse was carrying a box of tissues and she knew it had to be something bad.

Completely alone, in that sterile environment, Sophie found out the devastating news that Jaxson had leukaemia.

Jaxson endured many months of treatment, in and out of hospital, in-patient appointments and monthly lumbar punctures. The family spent Christmas and the new year in hospital and were still in and out of hospital, every month, for the next three years.

Sophie quote image

That first night I sat in the hospital room alone whilst Jaxson slept. I just cried and cried. I couldn’t sleep as I didn’t want to take my eyes off him.

Our lives were a mess. We were just surviving. Just trying to cope.

It felt like Mitch and I were passing ships in the night as only one parent was allowed into the hospital. We would meet at the car, quickly exchange handover notes and be gone again.

Sophie, Jaxson's mum

Sophie, Mitch, and Jaxson's younger sister Bella, all had to isolate due to Jaxson's treatment and were not able to see friends and family during this time. Bella was only 14 months when Jaxson was diagnosed, and Sophie explained the guilt she felt being away from her so much:

"I feel I didn’t watch her growing up and I feel guilty about not being with her much. I missed bedside stories, so many cuddles and milestones, dinner together, going to the park."

Sophie and Mitch self-referred their family, and in January 2023 Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker Wendy began supporting them. Sophie says that "both Bella and Jaxson immediately loved Wendy, and loved having someone else to play with".

Wendy gave them respite and her support allowed Sophie some time out and a chance to do jobs she needed to, like prepare lunchboxes for next day, make dinner, take the dog for a needed long walk, and just to get a bit of ‘me time’. It also meant Sophie had someone to open up to, who understands their situation.

Sophie quote image

I had closed myself off but with Wendy I had someone to open up to. She has worked with other families in similar situations and understands how our lives are turned upside down. Talking to Wendy helps me cope better.

We are eternally grateful for having such amazing support from Family Support Worker Wendy.

Sophie, Jaxson's mum

In February 2024 Jaxson rang the bell to mark the end of his cancer treatment. Although this was a huge milestone, Sophie explains that there always remains a worry about Jaxson's health:

"We know this journey can change at any moment, and I still feel that now, a few months on, so we make sure every day is counted for. The fear is always there."

There are so many families like Jaxson's, that may be feeling so helplessly alone and desperate, who need this specialist support. Please donate today to help us support more families like Jaxson's.

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