Eight-year-old Nicholas has been supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for three years. In August, during the coronavirus pandemic, Nicholas stayed with us for emergency respite giving him the chance to have some fun whilst his family could feel comfortable in the knowledge that he was in a safe environment, enjoying himself.

Nicholas was born eight weeks premature, with a chromosomal abnormality. He was later diagnosed with lymphoedema, a chronic condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues. It develops when the lymphatic system doesn’t work properly and can affect any part of the body.

His family visited America to see if doctors could help with Nicholas’ condition, but when they were told they couldn’t help, Nicholas’ mum self-referred her son to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices to help support him and the family.

Nicholas’ condition mainly affects his lungs, heart and bowel, and he has to have weekly immunoglobulin infusions in both legs to help protect his immune system. This means he has to spend a lot of time in hospital, something both his family and the hospital are keen to minimise if at all possible – particularly during this time.

So, Nicholas was over the moon when he recently stayed at our hospice for respite, so much so he decided to build and launch a space rocket!

Care team members Georgia and Lucy were assigned as his support crew, sourcing spare cardboard, cups and many other important items to help construct this super spacecraft.

The beautiful sunshine presented ideal launch conditions, so after donning his special space suit, astronaut Nicholas embarked on his mission to the moon! Watch the special launch in the video below.

Anne Bridgman, Head of Hospice Services said, “Despite Nicholas’ complex conditions he is such a happy, lively, chatty and on the go little boy. He loves coming to stay with us and never wants to leave!”

When you support us you are helping to provide emergency respite care to children with complex conditions, like Nicholas, giving them a chance to reach for the stars.

You can help us be there for families now and into the future by donating.