Manchester family talks about bereavement support from Rainbow Trust Children’s charity on ITV News 

Manchester family talks about bereavement support from Rainbow Trust Children’s charity on ITV News 

Rainbow Trust
Manchester family talks about bereavement support from Rainbow Trust Children’s charity on ITV News  image

Date published: 04 April 2023 by Katie Inglis

On Friday 31 March, Partington dad Kevin McVety joined ITV Granada news presenter Gamal Fahnbulleh alongside Rainbow Trust’s Children's Charity chief executive Zillah Bingley to highlight the importance of bereavement support.

In April 2022 the McVety family’s 16 year old daughter Maddison died of a rare form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma. The family have been supported by Rainbow Trust since Maddison’s diagnosis in 2019 and continue to receive support from the charity.

Rainbow Trust supports families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness. When a child has a serious illness, family life is turned upside down and time becomes more precious than ever. Rainbow Trust pairs each family with an expert Family Support Worker who enables them to make the most of time together, giving them practical and emotional support, whenever they need it, for as long as is needed.

Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker, Merissa, started supporting the McVety family soon after Maddison’s diagnosis when she was 13 years old. She provided support to the whole family including practical and emotional support for Maddison’s parents and in particular her younger siblings taking them on trips out and entertaining them at home with crafts and games.

Dad, Kevin McVety explains;

“We are so grateful for the support we have received from our Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker, Merissa, both during Maddison’s treatment and now that we are coping with her loss. After Maddison died we lost contact with so many people. They didn’t know what to do or what to say to us. People we knew would avoid us at the shops. During a visit to relatives the Christmas after we lost her, Maddison’s grandfather said ‘Don't be sad she wouldn’t want that’. But we need to be sad, we need to talk about her, share our feelings which is very hard and we need to do that in our own time. Merissa understands and provides us with an outlet for this.”

“When Madison was dying in hospital all the nurses told us not to worry as when the time comes you won’t be alone, but we were. The trauma of losing her will never leave us, I can still hear my wife scream when she died. Rainbow Trust, and Merissa, provided the support we needed at a time when we felt alone and abandoned, and they continue to do so. The whole family felt the warmth of Rainbow Trust’s care – I cannot emphasise enough how amazing it is to have someone come to the house and ask how they can practically help you. We are so grateful the support will continue for as long as we need it.”

Zillah Bingley says:
“Rainbow Trust supports a family because they have a terminally ill child, we don’t just support the ill child, we are here for the whole family before and after death. Grief is a normal reaction to death, it's important to understand that family members may grieve differently.”

ITV Granada news story here

Read more about Maddison’s story here

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