The family of a three-month old baby girl who spent her final days at Kent’s Demelza Hospice are holding a bumper Family Fun Day to raise funds for the charity and others who helped to care for her.
Little Florence Eva Brockman was born on December 15 at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, with just one lung, one kidney and two holes in her heart. When she was four days old, her parents Jack and Bianca, from Canterbury, learned she had a life-threatening, critically narrow airway.
Florence spent 12 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit in the Evelina Children’s Hospital before being transferred to Demelza, near Sittingbourne, where she spent her final days.
Jack (22) said: “Florence proved a lot of professionals wrong – they couldn’t understand how she was alive, but she fought and fought until enough was enough.
“She sadly fell asleep at Demelza on March 14. She was and always will be our inspiration.”
Bianca (20) said: “We are unbelievably grateful to have had almost three months with our beautiful baby girl. If it wasn't for the staff at Evelina and Demelza, this wouldn't have happened.”
Demelza’s Hop Garden is a bereavement suite where families can stay with their children and family friends and relatives were able to visit Florence to spend precious moments with her, both before and after her passing.
Florence’s aunt Jasmine Brockman said: “Demelza allowed Florence and all of us in her family to spend absolutely amazing moments with her in her last hours on this earth. We all pushed her in her pram around their beautiful gardens, something her parents had longed for. It was nothing like a hospital and the staff made us all feel welcome and helped us to say goodbye to our beautiful princess. Those moments were so precious and have given us lasting memories. We are just so grateful to Demelza for giving us that time.”
The family is now organising an action-packed activity day at Chartham Village Hall and the adjacent Memorial Field, on Sunday June 18 to raise funds for Demelza, Evelina and the Ronald McDonald charity which enabled Bianca and Jack to stay close to Florence in hospital.
The fun starts at 10am, with a bouncy castle, face painting, pony rides, characters in costume, a raffle, tombolas and games for all ages. Dozens of stallholders and businesses have already offered their support.
If anyone would like to donate items for the raffle and tombola or to get involved in any other way, call 07525 761816.