Two years ago, my friends Emily and Pete lost their son Little Jimmy. Having already fundraised enough to buy five new specialist ventilators to transport very sick babies and children to Great Ormond Street, they are now fundraising to buy specialist state-of-the-art surgical equipment for two new theatres in their sons memory through their Little Jimmy Brighter Future Fund. This October, I am joining a team of 53 of their friends and family to run The Royal Parks Half-Marathon to help in their fundraising.This is my second year running for the Little Jimmy Brighter Future Fund and this year I have even convinced my brother that lives in Athens and my sister that lives in Johannesburg to join me on the run. Please reward me for my efforts, all donations are gratefully received! Olga xx
Little Jimmy's story:
On 21st September 2016 our baby boy James William Shaw was born. Three minutes later his twin sister Isabel followed, two beautiful new siblings for our 18 month-old daughter Alexa. Jimmy really was exceptionally handsome with a full head of auburn hair with a highlight streak of blond on his crown, which had seemingly already undergone a designer haircut/styling, so that the nurses at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital nicknamed him ‘One Direction’. Both twins were thriving at home and we were excitedly beginning to look to the future together as a family of five.
At just five and a half weeks old our little Jimmy became suddenly, unexpectedly and desperately unwell with presumed sepsis (an overwhelming infection) and a complicating blood clot to his bowel. Despite the heroic efforts of the staff of our local hospital, the Children's Acute Transfer Service (CATS) ambulance team and ultimately Great Ormond Street Hospital Intensive Care Unit, Jimmy could not be saved. He died in our arms on the evening of 31st October, covered in the kisses of his mummy and daddy who told him how loved he was. It is beyond words how traumatised we were left by those 2 days of seeing him so desperately unwell and how bereft Jimmy’s death left us, our hearts were truly broken.
Three weeks after Jimmy died, and just two days after we had buried him, his twin sister Izzy too suddenly became unwell of an unrelated condition (a diaphragmatic hernia with malrotation), we were just seemingly that unlucky. Within 24 hours Izzy was undergoing emergency, life-or-death surgery at Great Ormond Street. We genuinely believed we were going to lose a second child that day, it was nothing short of torture. Thankfully Izzy’s operation was successful and she recovered.
Jimmy's mummy Emily is a hospital doctor, and can hand-on-heart honestly say that in 12 years experience as a clinician has never seen such a unanimous, continuous and determined effort and bloody-minded resolve to save a life as with Jimmy. The medical staff gave blood, sweat and tears to save our little boy, he received the best possible care in the world, by the most humane doctors and nurses we have ever met and for that we are beholden to them. Beyond the world-class care both he and Izzy received at GOSH, our family received unbounded care and kindness, practical support (such as neighbouring accommodation) and pastoral support that continues to this day (including bereavement counselling). GOSH gave us our very best hope of saving Jimmy, saved the life of Izzy and took extremely delicate and humane care of us parents in the process.
Very soon after these experiences we became resolved on trying to repay some of our perceived incalculable debt to GOSH, nurture something positive out of such a tragic loss and continue to strive to keep Jimmy’s memory alive. We are pulling together an army of impossibly loyal family and friends to join us in fundraising a hugely ambitious amount of money for GOSH, specifically in Jimmy’s name, as his legacy.
With £260,000 raised in total so far, we have already paid for five new ventilators for GOSH in Jimmy’s name and are well on our way to kitting out two theatres state-of-the-art surgical theatres. More information about our shopping basket can be found here: https://www.littlejimmybrighterfuturefund.com/shopping-list
More information may be found at www.littlejimmybrighterfuturefund.com
A video of our story made by Amazon Prime can be viewed on these links:
Please join us in fundraising and/or give what you can.
Love and gratitude from Pete, Emily, Lexy and Izzy Shaw xx