A LEDBURY mother who lost her young son to a terminal heart condition is planning a fund-raiser tomorrow on what would have been her child’s third birthday.
Little John-Paul Morris was just two years old when he died in mum Melissa Morris’ arms last July.
Now she is staging a fundraising coffee morning in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice which cared for John Paul.
The youngster was born with 1P36 Deletion Syndrome, meaning he had a tiny part of his first chromosome missing, resulting in him having 18 holes in his heart, severe epilepsy and hearing and visual problems.
Miss Morris spent the first nine months of his life by his side as he underwent heart surgery and was treated at both Hereford County Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“We had been told it was unlikely that JP would ever walk, talk or sit unaided,”
said Miss Morris, aged 27, of the Homend.
“We took all of this in our stride and took on every challenge, amazingly we watched as JP learnt to sit unaided and hold things in his hands.
“Just after his first birthday we were given the devastating news that he had developed a terminal heart condition and were referred to Acorns for palliative care.”
Miss Morris says she was amazed how welcoming the hospice was.
“Acorns is light and beautiful and the staff there make you feel like the most important and special family in the world which means so much to a mum and her baby that she’ll have to say goodbye to one day,” she said.
“For us the day to say goodbye came on July 12 last year,” said Mrs Morris.
“JP had caught a virus and sadly that was too much for his poorly heart. He passed quickly and peacefully in my arms.”
Any fears that her son would be “alone or cold” soon vanished when she saw the room they had provided for him with a cot, calming music and sweet pea flowers.
“Acorns got us to eat to keep our strength up, even though we didn’t feel like it,” she said.
“They helped us plan the (memorial) service and they were there all through the service holding us up. Now, nine months on they are still by our sides.”
Miss Morris is hosting a coffee morning in aid of the hospice and in memory of John-Paul.
It will be at St Katherine’s Hall in Ledbury High Street from 10am to 2pm.