A HEARTBROKEN mum has told how her daughter died in Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice just weeks after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Tiny Lily Craythorn-Jones had been rushed to hospital days after the family had celebrated her first birthday.
But doctors at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Sheffield Children’s Hospital were unable to save the little girl, who had earlier been diagnosed as having a virus.
Mum Rebecca Craythorn-Jones has paid tribute to the hospice where her family received support before Lily’s death, and pledged to support the charity with an event this month.
Rebecca, aged 25, from Laurel Road, Armthorpe, found her daughter unconscious first thing in the morning and took her straight to Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where a scan revealed a brain tumour.
She was transferred straight away to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Surgeons operated to relive pressure and again to remove the tumour, but could not cure Lily. They told Rebecca and husband Gareth Jones the illness was terminal.
Lily was then sent to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, in Dinnington, where she and her family were together for the last six days of her short life.
Rebecca said: “It came out of the blue.
“Lily had not seemed right and we had taken her to the doctors, but they said they thought she had a virus.
“I would urge parents to trust their instincts and persist, and get a second opinion if they don’t agree with a diagnosis.
“I don’t think people are aware that something like this can happen to someone so young.
“When we were told Lily had a brain tumour I was shocked and scared for Lily, but also angry that it had not been picked up earlier.
“But it is easy to look back with hindsight. If you are the parent, you know your child best. If you think there is something wrong, you should persist.”
Before the tumour was discovered Lily had been eating lots but losing weight. She had stopped crawling as much and had been sleeping more.
But Rebecca said: “Lily was always laughing and always smiling - she was really cheeky. She had beautiful big brown eyes and we used to call her Tweetie Pie because of them.
“There is not a day goes by when we don’t think of her.
“She was only a year old when she died - she was taken into hospital just four days after her first birthday.
“We had all been out for a family meal to celebrate. Lily had a lovely day. She loved her presents, although she was more interested in the wrapping!”
Rebecca paid tribute to the support she received from Bluebell Wood during the last week the family had together.
As well as making sure Lily was comfortable, staff at the hospice looked after Rebecca, Gareth, and Rebecca’s older daughter Abigail, five.
Staff later helped to arrange Lily’s funeral, organising a balloon release, helping with the order of service, and even giving readings at the service. They are still providing support for the family.
“Bluebell Wood is an amazing place,” said Rebecca. “It deserves all the support people can give it. I had heard of it before, but I never thought I would need its services.”
Rebecca is now raising money for the hospice later this month when she takes part in an event called Jail and Bail on March 23. It will see volunteers ‘arrested’ and detained at Doncaster Prison, at Marshgate, and raise a minimum of £500 bail to be released. Log on to www.justgiving.com/Rebecca-Craythorn-Jones to sponsor her.