Experiencing the emotions of losing a loved one can be hard at any age, but especially for children. At Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice our team of specialist Children’s Therapeutic Practitioners offer free confidential, emotional support to children and young people when a loved one is living with a life-limiting illness or have sadly died. This can be in the form of one-to-one support as well as group therapy.

One of the young people who has been supported by our team is Adam, aged 12. He was referred to the Hospice’s counselling service by his grandmother, Susan, after he lost both of his parents three years ago.

Adam’s father battled cancer for four years, and sadly died at the age of 43. The team at Birmingham St Mary’s cared for him and supported his family through his final weeks. Five months before, Adam’s mother died in a tragic road accident. Susan said although she was grieving for her daughter, she had to carry on to support her two grandsons and they both came to live with her.

“Adam lay on the settee and I cared for him for 12 months, not going to school, barely washing. I thought I would never get him back so as a family we decided he needed more help. So we called on St Mary’s Hospice and they came to the house.”

Tailored support

Birmingham St Mary’s Children’s Therapeutic Practitioner, Sam Kelly, visited Adam weekly for private sessions when he felt unable to leave home. After forming a bond with Sam, Susan said that Adam began to change.

“Adam got to trust Sam and felt like he could tell her anything and everything. She was marvellous with him and as the months went by I could see Adam changing.”

Since working alongside Sam, Adam has continued to gain back his confidence. He has since been able to return to school.

I don’t know where he would be today without her

Susan says that the difference in Adam since he began his sessions with Sam ‘incredible’.

“I have my grandson back. He trusted the counsellor and could confide in her. I don’t know where he would be today without her, she was just like an angel from above.

“The Hospice was a lovely kind, caring place to be in at such a sad, sad time.

“I want to say the biggest thank you of all to everyone concerned, and a special thank you to the bereavement counsellors, who do an amazing job of giving people their lives back again.”

Thank you Susan for sharing your story with us. If you’d like to talk to someone and learn more about how we can help your child through this difficult time, please contact our Children’s Service on 0121 752 8753 or email us using stmaryshospice.childrensservice@nhs.net or visit our Children’s Service page.

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