A MOTHER whose daughter suffers from leukaemia and Down’s syndrome has called a supportive hospice nurse “a vital part of our family”.

Kelly Sherwood, of Waltham Abbey, praised Nurse Kate Lewis, who works at Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green for helping daughter Grace cope with the condition.

Grace was diagnosed with leukaemia last November and was transferred to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone.

Kelly said: “The first time I met Nurse Katie Lewis from Haven House I immediately felt relaxed.

“She talked me through all the ways they could support us, including Hospice at Home, and we decided for the moment it would be good for Grace to get out of the house and regularly go to Haven House.

“She adores going there because they play with her and keep her occupied the whole time. Most importantly though, they also keep her safe as the slightest infection would make her seriously ill while her immune system is so low.

“In just a year Haven House, and Katie, have become a vital part of our family.”

Katie Lewis, specialist children’s outreach nurse at the hospice said: “If we are to support more children like Grace we really need the public to dig deep and make donations to our Christmas appeal.”

“There are life-limited children in our community who are missing out on the hospice care they so desperately need.

“We know that there are many children out there needing our care, our successful pilot project has proved that. We want to be able to expand across our areas of North and North East London, West Essex and East Hertfordshire but this will need significant further investment.

“While we do receive some NHS funding, it's less than a quarter of what we need to care for the children we see at the hospice itself.”

Haven House launched their Christmas appeal for more funding to help patients like Grace.

Click here or call 0208 498 5841 to donate.