A family from near Ipswich have raised more than £8,500 in memory of “a beautiful, happy little boy” who sadly died last year.
James Dwerryhouse, seven, was adored by those close to him. He had a range of complex health needs, including being fed through a tube, and lived with conditions such as epilepsy and sleep apnoea.
James received care and support from EACH, attending music therapy sessions at The Treehouse and enjoying short breaks there. His parents and siblings also took part in some of the hospice’s family activities.
In August 2016, James unexpectedly suffered brain damage following an operation in London. He was put on life support and transferred to The Treehouse, where the support was then turned off. James’s body stayed at the hospice for days after, allowing his family to start to come to terms with what had happened.
His parents, John and Marguerite, said: “As a family, we’ll be forever grateful to The Treehouse. All the staff gave us the time to say goodbye and make memories, and provided an environment in which we could all focus on James. We continue to receive support from The Treehouse and will do for as long as we need it.
“When your child dies, you are left with the memories and it's only when you cannot make any more memories those that you have become so important. The Treehouse made memories with James when he was alive and after he died they helped us as a family with memory-making.”
So thankful have James’s family been that, along with friends, they went on to raise £8,584.55 by what would have been his ninth birthday on 1st October this year.
The phenomenal amount has seen them pay for a day of care and support for us across Suffolk and East Essex – which costs £5,300 a day.
John and Marguerite said: “We’re very grateful to our friends who have organised events and to all those who have donated in James’s memory.
“The total has been raised as a result of gifts from the funeral, a quiz organised by Bethany Bedingfield, a superheroes midnight walk, dress-down days at work, a collection at Sarah and Kelly's wedding, a curry night at Capel Community Church, climbing Snowdon and other events by Eastern Blues, [Norfolk & Suffolk’s Chelsea Supporters Club].”
To mark the fundraising efforts, James’s siblings, Christopher, 21, a university student, Oliver, 18, a pub chef, Beth, 17, and Peter, 16, who are both studying for A-levels, were recently presented with a commemorative wooden trophy.