On 27th February 2020 Mum Susan, Dad Mark and sisters Shelby (16) and Abigail (13) all sadly had to say goodbye to their gorgeous, beautiful daughter and amazing little sister Suzanne, who sadly passed away at Little Harbour children’s hospice aged 11.
Suzanne had Lissencephaly Type 1 - a rare brain condition, she also had epilepsy causing her to have daily seizures and she had problems with her airway. Suzanne’s family doted on her and were her full-time carers.
The family had respite stays and support from Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) for nine years, firstly at Little Bridge House in Barnstaple and then at Little Harbour when it opened in St Austell. They had built up strong relationships with the CHSW Team who had been a part of the family’s life for many years.
After her death mum Susan spent a lot of time in Suzanne’s bedroom at home, however sisters Shelby and Abigail found it incredibly hard to be in there without feeling tense and getting upset.
Just four weeks after Suzanne died the country went into lockdown due to the Coronavirus but this didn’t stop the regular contact from Little Harbour. Team members from the hospice made visits to the house for doorstep catch ups, giving the family the opportunity to see some familiar faces and speak openly about how they were feeling. On one of the visits, along with a food parcel, the team dropped off an activity pack for Shelby and Abigail which included a jigsaw.
Mum Susan had the inspired idea to set the jigsaw up in Suzanne’s bedroom. Within a short period of time Shelby and Abigail, plus the dog, were spending time in there laughing and listening to Suzanne’s favourite music whilst completing the jigsaw.
For their next delivery, the girls requested a double-sided jigsaw from Little Harbour which was dropped off on the next visit. The complex jigsaw of glass marbles has already got all of its edges completed!
Mum Susan said
Suzanne’s room is now a place where we all feel comfortable
"It's a room where we can laugh, tell stories about Suzanne and at the same time tackle some of the jigsaw. Whether it’s one piece or ten, it helps take our mind off things and find some calm."