MERRY Christmas - from Alexia!
This inspirational toddler - who has battled a series of disorders since birth - has helped make this year’s Christmas card for Bluebell Wood Hospice.
Alexia Jane Holmes was born four weeks prematurely weighing just 3lb 7oz and spent the first 11 months of her life in hospital.
The tot, now aged two, was diagnosed with Coffin Siris syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which causes developmental delays, Pierre-Robin Sequence, which causes lower set ears and jaw, has a small hole in the heart and Subglottic Stenosis, a narrowing of the subglottic airway.
Alexia had to undergo surgery and have a tracheotomy fitted at Sheffield Children’s Hospital to help her breathe without using her nose or mouth.
Mum Lizzie, 22, from Creswell, near Worksop, who also has an 11-month-old son Olly to partner Kevin, learnt about Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in North Anston, near Sheffield, due to Alexia’s complex medical needs.
Lizzie said they did not know anything about children’s hospices and were unsure what to expect - but soon fell in love with the place.
Alexia began to leave the hospital for a few days at a time and stay at Bluebell Wood where the care team looked after her medical needs so her mum and dad could have a break - and would even get their meals cooked by the hospice.
When Alexia was eventually discharged from the hospital after 11 months she was admitted to Bluebell Wood while they prepared for her to go home. Now she is a regular visitor and attends day care sessions on a weekly basis.
Lizzie said: “Every time we get here she just smiles from ear to ear and is keen for us to leave so she can enjoy the place on her own.
“It gives us chance to have a break and when we stay at Bluebell Wood we get a full night’s sleep as Alexia can often stay awake throughout the night.
“It also gives us the chance to meet other parents and talk to them about their experiences.” Alexia made Bluebell Wood’s Robin Christmas card with the help of day care coordinator Jo Morris.
Jo said: “We like to paint with the children using their hands and feet as it makes it a sensory experience for them, they enjoy the feel of the paint against their skin.
“Alexia really responded to it and had so much fun making the card and the results speak for themselves.”
Sarah Champion, hospice chief executive, said: “We’re proud of Alexia’s Christmas card and I’m sure it will fly off the shelf.
“It’s fabulous to have a card made by one of our children and the money raised from the sales will help us offer support to more children like Alexia.”
* Bluebell Wood’s Robin Christmas cards made by Alexia are now available to buy online at Bluebell Wood Shop