Hear from other families

Read below to find stories from families and their children and young people accessing our services.

We are always looking for new stories to illustrate our services and the impact they have on families across East Anglia. If you'd like to share your story please get in touch with Michael Jarvis in our Marketing and Communications Team on michael.jarvis@each.org.uk.

Samantha's Story

Samantha Desborough, or Sammy as she was known by her family and friends, died in April 2014 aged just 15 years-old. Sammy had profound and multiple learning difficulties, and when she was six months old she was diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome which is a severe form of Epilepsy. This condition meant that Sammy suffered from regular seizures and required 24 hour care. Her whole family used EACH at Milton from when she was five years-old through until the end of her life.

Sammy's mum, Alison Frear, who is aged 40 and lives in Hemingford Grey, explained: "Sammy needed constant supervision throughout her life and lots of support for all her care needs. Her condition had deteriorated significantly over the last few years, particularly when she lost the ability to walk, which is something she loved to do as it gave her so much independence.

“We all started using the hospice at Milton when Sammy was five years-old. The care we received there was invaluable to us as a whole family. The short break care was so important – knowing that Sammy was being looked after by highly trained staff was the only break we ever had as I couldn’t trust anyone other than family to care for her.  At Milton we knew she was looked after in such a lovely environment with great facilities. She loved the sensory room with so many lights and sounds and the hydro pool where the water gave her so much independence.”

When the time came, Sammy’s family decided to use Milton for end of life care and bereavement support.

Alison continued: “I never fully understood how much the hospice did for end of life care until we needed it. The care Sammy received and support for all my family and friends was absolutely amazing. The staff were so compassionate and calm which made us all feel relaxed and calm at such a difficult time.

“The support for my youngest daughter Tyra, who was just two at the time, was outstanding. She doesn’t see the hospice as a sad place because she loved being there. Thanks to Milton, our whole family can reflect on happy memories from the hospice knowing that my darling daughter was loved and cared for in such a lovely calm environment.

“Without the support from EACH I don’t know how we would have got through this. The support hasn’t stopped since Sammy passed away. I still have regular contact with staff and know they’re there for me or my family if we need them.

“Sammy was such a popular little girl, she was known by so many people in St. Ives and she touched the heart of everyone she met. She is loved and missed by so many people.”

  • EACH supports families when they’re at their absolute lowest, helping them to come to terms with their child’s illness, losing them and beyond Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • I really love going to the hospice. I’ve made friends there and get to do loads of fun stuff. Renee
  • We are also supported by the 24/7 True Colours nurses and it’s so reassuring knowing we can call on them whenever we need support or advice Helen, William’s mum
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • EACH helps us to create lovely memories and has played an important part in all of our lives, not just Lucy’s. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • Renee loves going to The Treehouse, but it’s great that care staff are also able to visit us at home too. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • When we first heard about the hospice we were apprehensive because we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there we realised it was a lovely place where Renee would be well looked after, and we would be able to have a much-needed break. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • Children like Lucy don’t get the opportunity to go to sleepovers or to their friends for tea, so the interaction she has at the hospice is priceless. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • I didn’t realise hope was a gift until I became a mum. My little boy taught me many things and that was one of them Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • It’s been a great opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation, something that doesn't really happen anywhere else. Helen, William’s mum
  • I can’t imagine what it would have been like. Nobody should have to, every family should be offered the support we were, and are still getting Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • We arrived at the hospice feeling scared and alone. We had so many questions – they answered them all and more. Claire, Jacob’s mum

The Treehouse

St. Augustine’s Gardens,
Ipswich, IP3 8NS


Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB


Quidenham , Norwich,
Norfolk, NR16 2PH