Nicholas was born eight weeks premature, with a chromosomal abnormality. He was later diagnosed with lymphoedema, a chronic condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues. It develops when the lymphatic system doesn’t work properly and can affect any part of the body.  

Nicholas’ condition mainly affects his lungs, heart and bowel, and he has to have weekly immunoglobulin infusions in both legs to help protect his immune system. This means he has to spend a lot of time in hospital, something both his family and the hospital are keen to minimise if at all possible. 

His family visited America to see if doctors could help with Nicholas’ condition, but when they were told they couldn’t help, Nicholas’ mum, Becky, self-referred her son to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices to help support him and the family. 

Becky said, “When we first referred Nicholas I never thought it would have so much of an impact on his life. He absolutely loves Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.” 

 

Nicholas, now eight-years-old, has been supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for three years with services including emergency respite, therapies and special experiences for all the family to enjoy and create memories.   

Becky said, “We as a family love Christmas at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, the atmosphere is always so magical. Christmas is the time where family comes first. We have two older children, Kasey and Joey, and they are able to feel included and join in with the activities and have a bit of fun. It’s a place that includes the whole family.” 

Becky continues, “It means the world to us to be able to come to the hospice for Christmas, seeing the faces of all of the children (and ours) makes it all worthwhile. It’s one of the main times in the year where we all aim to make sure we aren’t working. 

“Nicholas so enjoys all the activities, including decorating cookies and all the entertainment and fun, but his favourite thing is definitely meeting Santa, and if you were to ask him where his favourite place was, he would tell you Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.”