A family fun day will be held in Ripon this weekend to celebrate the life of a baby girl who died in February 2012.
With the support of good friend Luke Wilson, parents Sophie and Nick Horsburgh have planned Brooke’s Family Fun Day which will be held at Ripon City AFC’s ground at Mallorie Park on Sunday, May 25, from noon, to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
The day will include a bouncy castle, face painting and charity football match, as well as a barbecue, cake stall and raffle. Donations will be collected at the gate.
Brooke was born six weeks’ premature in March 2011. After a short time at home, Brooke became unwell.
It was then that doctors became aware of her severe difficulties with breathing and feeding. She was admitted to the RVI in Newcastle where Nick and Sophie were able to stay close by her side in The Sick Children’s Trust’s Crawford House.
After two months, and with a tracheostomy to help her breathe, Brooke returned home but a short time later Brooke was re-admitted to the Leeds General Infirmary in a critical condition.
Doctors performed life-saving surgery but Nick and Sophie were told to prepare for the worst.
The family were once again able to stay in one of The Sick Children’s Trust’s “Homes from Home”, Eckersley House, which is minutes from the high dependency and intensive care wards where Brooke was being treated.
Brooke pulled through the surgery but due to her feeding problems she needed many more operations, including fundoplication surgery for her reflux issues and bowel surgery which lead to Brooke having to be fed via a tube straight into her tiny veins.
“It was heart-breaking for Nick and I to see our little girl go through so very much,” said mum Sophie.
“There were many times when Brooke was so poorly in intensive care that both Nick and I knew we could lose her but our beautiful baby girl fought back time and time again showing us all her true strength.”
Sophie and Nick stayed at Eckersley House for six months while doctors battled to save Brooke’s life but Brooke’s complex health problems proved too much for such a brave little girl.
Sophie said: “Held dearly in her mummy’s arms, her daddy holding her hand, surrounded by her family and Godparents, Brooke’s life support was stopped and she passed away peacefully.
“The Sick Children’s Trust helped so much. Eckersley House became our refuge –almost like a second home providing all the facilities we needed as a family and only minutes from the children’s ward allowing us so much more precious time with Brooke.”
The Sick Children’s Trust provides free of charge, high-quality “Home from Home” accommodation for families with seriously ill children.
The charity relies entirely on voluntary donations which is why the family decided to raise money through a family fun day in Brooke’s memory.
Jane Featherstone, head of fundraising at The Sick Children’s Trust, said: “Brooke’s story is incredibly moving and shows why it’s so important that families are able to stay by their child’s side.
“It costs us £28 a night to provide a room for a family so the money raised at Brooke’s Family Fun Day will go directly towards helping other families in desperate circumstances.
“I can’t thank Sophie, Nick and the rest of the family enough.”
Anyone who cannot make it to the event can donate online at www.justgiving.com/Brookescharityday