Ethan’s story

Being a first-time mum can be daunting for any parent, but when Sarah’s son Ethan suffered a catastrophic stroke during delivery her world changed forever.

It took another three months for doctors to discover its true impact, when a scan revealed half of Ethan’s brain had been affected. He has since been diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy which means he requires 24-hour care.

Sarah said, “They were quite amazed Ethan had survived. Nobody could tell us what would happen with him because in theory he shouldn’t have been with us.”

Sarah and her husband Kerry knew their lives would never be the same and with both having very small families, additional support would be vital. The couple found a lifeline in Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Despite their initial fears that a hospice would be ‘an unhappy place and a sad place’, it proved anything but and the family began their journey with Acorns after Ethan turned four.

“I was really surprised with what a happy place it was. I thought it would be sombre and grey and it’s not – it’s colourful and bright. Everybody is so lovely and it’s a home from home and they make it feel like Ethan is really important.”

Ethan visits Acorns in Birmingham for short breaks, which helps reenergise both Sarah and Kerry, and is a chance for them to recharge their batteries. It also gives Ethan, now 16, chance to spend time away from mum and dad and with other young people.

“It makes a huge amount of difference. Without Acorns we’d be exhausted – I don’t think we could do it without them.”

Since our Birmingham hospice opened it’s doors in 1988, gifts in Wills have played an important part in funding the specialist care provided by Acorns to children and young people like Ethan. With demand for services rising, gifts in Wills to Acorns have never been so important and ensures Acorns is always there for children and families that need us.

Find out more about gifts in Wills and how your legacy could help us be stronger together.