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.

The Clark family story

Alyson and Neil Clark from Stonea in Cambridgeshire completed a Tractor Run from Lands End to John O'Groats in November 2016, in memory of their daughter Mikayla as she loved to spend time on the farm with her dad. 

A few days after her 4th birthday Mikayla Clark was diagnosed with a Brain Stem Tumour called a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Mikayla’s family were given the devastating news that there was no cure for her tumour and they began palliative treatment to try and relieve some of Mikayla’s symptoms. Mikayla’s condition did improve enough for the family to enjoy a treasured six months before she sadly died on 12th April 2016.

Throughout her illness and since her death Mikayla’s family have been supported by EACH through our Milton hospice.  

Alyson Clark, explained: “Mikayla always had a smile, she was a cheeky little girl who knew how to wrap her parents around her little finger - especially her daddy! Mikayla had a love for life and loved being outdoors, especially being out on the farm with daddy as his co-pilot. Even as she began to get more poorly, she never let her illness stop her doing what she wanted – she was a very determined little girl!

“The care we received from EACH at Milton was excellent.  We received support from the Symptom Management Team who were on hand 24 hours a day to give us advice on Mikayla’s condition and managing her medication. A nurse specialist would visit us at home to see how she was doing and as a family we would go to Milton for day care. We had hydrotherapy once a week, which Mikayla loved. Every member of staff played a part in the care we received as a family. All the staff we came in contact with throughout our time at Milton were friendly, welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. It’s more than a job to the staff, they are caring, compassionate and believe in the work they do.

“Myself and Neil made the decision that we wanted end of life care at Milton so we spent the last six days of her life there. Everyone at the hospice helped to make this time as easy and precious as possible. Julie the head chef said to us after breakfast one morning that she had made a chocolate cheesecake as she thought we could do with a chocolate fix. Little things like this make the difference. Alfie our son was always welcome, as were visitors and other family members, and visits were never restricted. The Wellbeing Team helped us make memory keepsakes which we will treasure for ever.”

“Having EACH gave us choices which we never thought possible. The staff made the hardest journey we have ever had to make that little bit easier to bear. We never felt alone, there was always somebody there who would listen to us. It was a place we could be at home without being at home. We still use support from the hospice, I have counselling sessions which are a real help.

“If EACH wasn’t there I don’t know what we would have done as we really felt we couldn’t be at home when Mikayla passed, it would have been too much. They are an essential lifeline for families. There are not enough words to say how thankful we are to EACH, we were amazed at the service they do provide. We will never forget what the staff at Milton did for us, the work they do is truly amazing."

  • 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
  • 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 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 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
  • I really love going to the hospice. I’ve made friends there and get to do loads of fun stuff. Renee
  • We arrived at the hospice feeling scared and alone. We had so many questions – they answered them all and more. Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’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
  • 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
  • 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
  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • 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

The Treehouse

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

Milton

Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB

Quidenham

Quidenham , Norwich,
Norfolk, NR16 2PH