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Lia smiling
Lia was referred to Little Harbour in 2012 after developing a secondary tumour
Laughter filled Little Harbour at a onesie party for Lia, but the team were also there for Lia and her family in her final days

In 2012 11 year old Lia from St Ives was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell treatment. Lia unfortunately developed a secondary tumour in November 2012 which meant that her time was very limited. This led to a referral for Lia and her family to Little Harbour children’s hospice.

Lia, along with her brother Cody and parents Paula and Stuart visited the hospice for respite breaks

“Little Harbour was a home from home from the first time we walked through the door, somewhere we could be a family and have fun without the distractions of everyday life” said Lia’s mum Paula.

Lia’s Dad Stuart said “Lia and Cody were always excited, they loved being there. Lia felt safe at Little Harbour and Cody could have fun and had people to spend time with him.”

“It was during one of these visits that the care team organised Little Harbour’s first onesie party for Lia and a few of her closest friends and her cousin, giving them the opportunity to see for themselves where Lia was staying and we felt it was important for them to see that Little Harbour was a happy, fun place.”

“All the staff got involved with decorating the hospice, creating a magical fairy feel, baking cupcakes, organising games and crafts and, of course, wearing their onesies.”

Unfortunately the family’s next visit saw Lia rushed to Little Harbour when her condition suddenly deteriorated. Four days later she died peacefully with Stuart, Paula, Cody and Karen, her CLIC Nurse by her side.

Stuart said “Without the staff at the hospice I don’t know how we would have managed that week, we barely left Lia’s side, but knew that Cody was safe and being looked after. We were looked after too, which allowed us to be with Lia and just think about being Mum and Dad. Without Little Harbour that wouldn’t have been possible.”

“CHSW provides a safe place where you become part of the family and are treated with love and care, where every member of the team go above and beyond to ensure your stay is special.”

Since Lia’s death her parents, along with family friends, have raised money for CHSW in Lia’s memory to ensure other families in their situation can receive the same level of support from the charity when they need it most. 

“The team at Little Harbour were, and continue to be, so supportive and the work they all do is fantastic, it is a very special place.”