Michaela, who first visited Rainbows when she was 14 and died 12 years later in March 2016, had lissencephaly with severe neurodisability – a rare brain condition. She needed round the clock care from parents Steve and Karen, who turned to our hospice for help.
“Michaela loved going to Rainbows so much so that when I go to Rainbows, I can feel her there still; the connection is so strong. I just couldn’t have got through losing Michaela if it wasn’t for the support of the staff at Rainbows,” said Karen.
Karen and Steve admit that when they were first referred to our hospice, they had reservations that were quickly quashed.
“When we first started using Rainbows, we knew it was a hospice and we thought it would be terrible and all about dying,” said Karen. “But it wasn’t. All of the family loved it. Our children Emma and Steven, and granddaughter, Dana – who are all now grown up, were all brought up with Rainbows. We would say we are going to Rainbows and they would all jump in the car.
“We have had so much support since Michaela passed away. And during lockdown, our family support worker has been wonderful and she has always been on the other end of the phone. The support we have had, and still continue to have, is marvellous.”
Steve also echoed his wife’s thoughts. “Michaela loved Rainbows so much and she had friends there,” he said. “She couldn’t speak but you could tell by her expressions and her giggling that she was always happy at Rainbows.
“It is five years on from when Michaela passed and Rainbows is still a big part of our lives. If anyone can support this wonderful place so they can continue to help families like ours, we would be so grateful.”