A Place Where Annabelle Can Be Just Annabelle

Rachel Story Images 03

This is the story of Rachel’s daughter Annabelle, who didn’t have the easiest start in life.

A complicated start to life

When Annabelle was born, she was diagnosed with a condition which made the start of her life very difficult. Rachel shares her story and explains why our partner Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice Middlesbrough was the lifeline she needed.

Cot in a children's ward in hospital

“Annabelle suffers with a condition called Moya. Which in turn led to her having approximately 8 strokes in the first year of her life, each stroke affecting a different area of her brain. As a result of these strokes Annabelle needed two major brain surgeries to re-vasculise her brain, she has severe epilepsy, extreme hypertension, is visually impaired, has cerebral palsy and is non-mobile & non-verbal.”

A lifeline

Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice Middlesbrough were there for Annabelle when she needed them most.

“Two years ago, Annabelle was referred into their service, a lifeline that we really didn’t realise we needed so badly.”

Rachel and her family don’t like to focus on Annabelle’s medical complexities, they prefer to focus on how amazing she is. However, the support they have received from Zoe’s Place has been a huge help to them.

Hospital bed in a children's ward with a teddy sat on it

Making a difference

With the life changing support Rachel has received from the hospice, she urges people to give back to the charity that has helped her family so much.

“Why Zoe’s Place? It is a charity that I have always been aware of, being born and raised in the area. However, never did I expect that we would be walking through their doors in need of help.”

When Annabelle is at Zoe’s place her medical complexities are not at the forefront, and she can just be Annabelle. A child who wants to play and have fun, just like any other.

“At Zoe’s Place, Annabelle is just Annabelle. She goes and has the best time with her friends who all have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions just like her. She gets to sing, dance, craft, make a mess and have fun like all 4-year-olds should.”

Rachel with her daughter Annabelle in front of Zoe's Place Baby Hospice Middlesbrough

A much-needed rest

Caring for a child with complex needs like Annabelle can be tiring. The level of care she requires doesn’t ever stop. She requires constant supervision every second of the day. The incredible care she receives at Zoe’s Place gives Rachel a recharge she needs to ensure she can give the best possible care to Annabelle.

“Due to the compassionate and safe care she receives at Zoe’s Place, Cara and I are able to rest and recharge. Something that we are not able to do often given the level of support Annabelle has 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.”

A way to give back!

Rachel urges the local community to join her in supporting the hospice that has been there for her and her beloved daughter. Ensuring that they will still be here to support other families in a similar situation in the years to come.

“Your donation means so much to families like ours.”

Rachel decided to compete in ‘The Great North Run’ to raise vital funds for Zoe’s Place. Saying thank you in a way that will secure their future and allow them to continue providing their life changing support to so many families.

Rachel wearing a bright yellow Zoe's Place Baby Hospice t-shirt smiling

“It is time to give back! I am in absolutely no way a runner; however, I am a parent of a child with complex needs who relies on this wonderful hospice to keep her sane.”

Play Your Hospice Lottery today

A single hour of care for one child, costs £30.

Zoë’s Place rely on the generosity of the local community to help them pay for this. But you don’t have to run a marathon to make a difference. You can play Your Hospice Lottery for just £1 each week. This will give Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice Middlesbrough an income they can rely on and make future plans with. Making sure they can provide the care and services for children just like Annabelle.

Make a difference today. Play Your Hospice Lottery, so Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice Middlesbrough will still be here tomorrow.



Draw closes in:
02 Days
13 Hrs
06 Min
36 Sec