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Brother and sister's Firewalk in memory of brother

firewalk Charley and Liam Davis.jpeg

A brother and sister walked barefoot over coals reaching temperatures of 1200F to raise money for the children’s hospice which cared for their disabled sibling.  

Charley Davis and brother Liam took on the roasting hot pathway at the Children’s Hospice South West’s (CHSW) Firewalk at Charlton Farm, Wraxall in memory of their foster brother Jack on Thursday 22 February 

Jack was welcomed into the Davis family by mum and dad Sandie and Jim, aged just 2 years-old in 2007. 

He joined the couple’s children Charley, Liam and Louise alongside siblings Katy, Jamie and Darren at the family home in Emersons Green Bristol. 

As a little boy, Jack was profoundly deaf, had Cerebral Palsy and Down’s Syndrome. 

“Mum and dad had fostered since I was little,” said Charley. 

“Jack arrived in 2007. He was severely disabled and was tiny and couldn’t do anything for himself. 

“But he immediately became part of the family.

He was a happy character and had a smile which lit up the room. 


“It was like Jack had always been there. We never considered him anything but our little brother.” 

Jack continued to enjoy life with the family until one day, aged 4, he had a catastrophic seizure. 

“He’d never had seizures before,” said mum-of-one Charley. “They put him in an induced coma and did a brain scan. 

“The medics said there was nothing more they could do for Jack and he would never recover and that the best thing would be to switch off the life support machine.” 

Jim and Sandie agreed to withdraw life support, with the rest of the family making their way to Bristol Children’s Hospital to say their goodbyes. 

“We went home and waited for the call from mum and dad,” said Charley, “but it never came. It seemed Jack had other ideas.” 

Jack had begun breathing on his own. Sandie and Jim then organised for him to be discharged from hospital. 

“He wasn’t expected to live more than 48 hours and we all wanted him to be at home,” said Charley. 

Jack wearing his Gruffalo dressing gown

“But it seemed Jack wasn’t ready to go anywhere. He wanted to do it his way.  

“He wasn’t ready to die. He had the fight in him to live.” 
Jack continued to live at home but continued to suffer with seizures which were controlled by medication and was referred to CHSW’s Charlton Farm children’s hospice which provided respite care for him and his family. 

“Caring for Jack after he started the seizures became 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Charley. 

“There was no break for mum and dad. 

For my parents to be able to go to the hospice and have all the medical side taken care of and be able to relax and have a lie in knowing that Jack was being wonderfully cared for was just what they needed. 

“It took so much of the pressure away and just allowed mum and dad time to breathe.”

 The family was supported by the hospice for four years. In 2013 Jack, then 8-years-old, was admitted to Bristol Children’s Hospital with a chest infection. 

“He was in there for a couple of days when mum looked at him and said, “he’s done,” said Charley. 

“Within half an hour a transfer had been organised to Charlton Farm. 

“Dad had Jack in his arms. As soon as we arrived at the hospice, Jack looked around and he knew where he was. 

“Dad said he felt him relax in his arms.” 

Within an hour of arriving at the hospice, Jack, surrounded by his family, died. 

Charley said: “The hospice continued to support us through that incredibly sad time and beyond.”  

The family has remained close to CHSW with everyone taking on various fundraising challenges over the years. Both Liam and Charley have taken part in the Ride for Precious Lives cycle event, Katy has jumped out of an aeroplane while Louise took part in a tough mudder run and organised a food and music night. 

Liam’s daughter Ettie also crafted homemade Christmas items to sell during the festive season and even persuaded her school to adopt CHSW as its charity of the year. 

Liam also climbed Kilimanjaro while his wife Abbi did the parachute jump alongside Katy while Louise’s son Jake arranged a raffle and Charley’s son Gabriel took part in the CHSW Santas on the Run event. 

This week Charley, 44, from Kingswood, and Liam took part in CHSW’s Firewalk event at Charlton Farm – facing a path of hot coals at temperatures of up to 1200f in bare feet. 

The pair were supported by their family, including Charley’s foster daughter.

Charley said: “It was an exhilarating experience to walk over hot coals. It was certainly a case of mind over matter.”

CHSW corporate fundraiser Sarah Heppenstall said: “There was such a lovely atmosphere at Firewalk Bristol and already the event has raised over £3,000.”