Thank you for visiting my fundraising page in memory of my daughter Elizabeth and for supporting the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Bristol Children's Hospital. Please read my story and help me to reach £1,000,000 fundraising goal.
On 10 December 2015, my five-year-old little chatterbox, her infectious smile and her dreams of becoming at zookeeper were lost to me.
Elizabeth passed away very suddenly from a rare autoimmune disease. She was taken ill, on 22 November 2015, with what was thought to be a simple chest infection, but within hours her condition had quickly deteriorated. She was diagnosed with secondary HLH and after 18 days on life support in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital, she passed away… and my heart broke.
What does a mum do when her world is shattered?
I found myself planning a ‘Walk of Love’ and, just two months later after Elizabeth passed away, I set off on a year-long trek around the entire coast of Britain to raise money for the unit that fought so hard to save Elizabeth. My aim was to fund £100,000 of life-saving equipment to help prevent other families from enduring my heartache.
I had no previous experience of undertaking a challenge like this but thanks to an amazing support team and the generosity of the public, over 6,000 miles were covered and £200,000 was raised.
Through The Grand Appeal, we purchased three new ventilators, along with critical care equipment for the WATCh specialist ambulance service that transports critically ill children like Elizabeth to Bristol.
My second challenge took place on the second anniversary of Elizabeth’s death. I undertook an 80 miles walk, across the Isles of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides, with the aim of finishing in just 24 hours. The weather didn’t agree with my plan, and my finish was delayed 3.5 hours after I suffered mild hyperthermia, but thanks to the wonderful support I received, again I managed to complete my challenge.
My third ‘Walk of Love’ in Elizabeth’s memory will link the 23 hospitals across South West and South Wales that fall within the catchment of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital. I have 1,000 miles to complete in 70 days, starting on Mother’s Day and finishing on 29 May 2018, what would be Elizabeth’s 8th birthday. With your support, I will stay strong.
I have set my fundraising goal as £1 million and of course, I can’t do this alone. In addition to the donations you have all so generously given, I am asking you all to undertake your own ‘Act of Kindness’. It could be your own sponsored walk, a bake sale or displaying a collection tin. Whatever you do, however big or small, you will be helping to provide poorly children, like my little Elizabeth, with the very best chance.
Thank you so much, Natalia xxx
Elizabeth was an exceptionally happy and extremely energetic little girl with an inquisitive mind and really diverse interests.
Elizabeth loved adventure. So we were always going on mini-expeditions to museums, library, theatre, zoos, wildlife parks, forests, the coast and anywhere else we could think of for a fun day out.
She had an artistic personality and loved dancing, acting and singing. She was a diligent student at the ballet school and was thrilled with every opportunity to perform on a real stage
Through her so short life, she made pottery, drew pictures, did Kintsugi Japanese craft, sand art and even made an animated film about Wallace and Gromit.
But most of all Elizabeth loved animals and she hoped to grow up to become a zookeeper. She said that she wanted to work in a job where she could stroke animals every day.
Elizabeth was an amazing and very special child who loved life and hoped to have a very bright future. She was my little ‘chatterbox’ with an infectious smile and a very kind, generous, caring heart which was full of love. She was exceptionally beautiful inside and out.
I miss her every second of every hour of every day...
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.