Windsor mum raises thousands for children's hospices with 79-mile walk

Windsor mum raises thousands for children's hospices with 79-mile walk

Emma Lowe with her mum Sarah

A woman from Windsor has raised thousands for two children's hospices after completing a 79-mile walk in memory of her late son Joshua. 

Emma Lowe, along with her mum Sarah, embarked on a four day walk over the Easter weekend to raise funds for the children’s hospice services that gave her family 'so much kindness and support'. 

In November last year, Emma and her husband Peter’s baby boy Joshua was just five weeks old when he developed meningitis.

He passed away aged just seven weeks old in November last year at Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service. 

Joshua and his family were cared for and supported firstly by Helen & Douglas House in Oxfordshire and then the Maidenhead charity based in Snowball Hill. 

In honour of Joshua’s final journey between the two hospices, Emma challenged herself to walk the 79 miles to help raise vital funds for both charities. So far she has raised nearly £7,000.

Emma explained how the support her family received from both children’s hospices made a big difference during the 'worst possible time' for her family. 

“Joshua was our beautiful boy, calm and gentle from the day he was born, he was an angelic baby in every way," she said.

"At five weeks he developed a devastating meningitis and was taken off his ventilator a few days later.

"The next 11 days were an unreal journey from the ward in John Radcliffe to Helen & Douglas House Hospice in Oxford and then finally to Alexander Devine in Maidenhead, where he died on November 23.

"While the situation was heart-breaking and gruelling, the support and kindness we met along the way was humbling.

"After transferring out of hospital care into hospice care, we very quickly realised that this was absolutely the best place for Joshua and us all. 

"The hospice care that we received at both Helen & Douglas House and Alexander Devine was incredible. Firstly they gave us our baby back, we could cuddle him and take him for walks.

"We were much more a part of his care and gave us a ‘home from home’ environment that was warm and comfortable but filled with 24 hour support and company through what would be an eight day long journey.

"Our daughter Charlotte was welcomed with toys, a pool and wonderful people to entertain her, the happiness and wellbeing of us as a family seen as a huge priority at that time.

"They gave us so much care, support and happy memories at the worst possible time and for that we are deeply grateful.”

Fiona Devine, CEO and co-founder of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, added: "It was such a pleasure and heart warming moment to welcome Emma and her mum at the end of their walk. 

"It was an emotional moment for us all but a truly positive way to remember baby Joshua.

"To know the experience that Emma, Peter and Charlotte received here with us at Alexander Devine during Joshua’s short but hugely meaningful life, means everything to me.

"I had the great honour of meeting baby Joshua when he was here at the hospice and he was an absolutely beautiful boy.

"Joshua will always be remembered, loved and treasured, as will all the children we care for at Alexander Devine.” 

Emma’s JustGiving page remains open if anyone would like to show support.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/walkingforjoshua 

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