Imagine receiving the news that your three-year-old daughter has leukaemia. Treatment is going to last two and a half years and will involve intensive chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, steroids and a central line to her chest. The places you used to go are out of bounds due to the danger of infection. Then you find somewhere special you can go where your child will be safe.
“It began Easter Sunday 2016,” explains Katie, from Luton, mother to Isla-Beaux, now 4. “Isla-Beaux’s legs just collapsed underneath her. I knew something was wrong because we had hidden her Easter eggs around the garden and she wouldn’t look for them.”
After that Isla-Beaux kept becoming ill until, finally, a blood test confrmed she had leukaemia. “It was devastating,” Katie says. “Straightaway, she started eight weeks of chemotherapy and had to go back and forth between the hospital and home. Later, they blasted her with chemo again and she lost all of her beautiful blonde ringlets.”
Since then, Isla-Beaux has been on an intensive treatment plan which will last until summer 2018.
“We used to do so much together - nursery, playgroup, swimming, soft play - that she’s not allowed to do now,” Katie says. “She’s become so used to spending her time with me that, when she goes out, she gets very anxious.”
Luckily, Keech Hospice Care has been able to fill the gap in Isla-Beaux’s life.
I would love to bring people here and show them what Keech Hospice Care does.
“We immediately felt safe and looked after at Keech,” remembers Katie. “Now, we come on Wednesday for day care and Thursday for Tots and Toys. There’s always something to do. Isla-Beaux loves the activities she does with the nurse as well as Keech's sensory room, and she’s had a referral for art therapy. I have had reiki therapy myself, which was really relaxing.
“Coming to Keech Hospice Care has had an amazing impact on us,” Katie confirms. “Isla-Beaux has come along so much and I feel comfortable because, although everyone has got a diﬀerent story, we’re all in similar situations. I have become friends with everyone, including the nurses, and you feel you’re not going through it alone.
“I don’t think people understand what goes on here. I would love to bring people here and show them what Keech Hospice Care does. I wish I could share it with everyone.”
Help us help more children like Isla-Beaux.