Son's death inspires family to raise £25,000 for children's hospice

PUBLISHED: 15:49 17 January 2018

Ben Pritchard loved playing football and supporting Bristol City.

Ben Pritchard loved playing football and supporting Bristol City.

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A Portishead family have raised tens of thousands of pounds in the wake of their eight-year-old son dying from a brain tumour.

Ben Prtichard with his family.Ben Prtichard with his family.

Ben Pritchard, whose condition was only discovered by chance after a game of football, lost his six-month illness battle at the end of last year.

His parents are desperate to help other families who will face similar turmoil and have raised about £25,000 for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW). Ben spent his final days at its Charlton Farm centre in Wraxall.

His mother Sarah said: “We have memories that will last us a lifetime and Ben was very happy there, despite being very unwell.

“Being at the hospice meant we were able to spend precious time with Ben following his death, something which brought us a great deal of comfort. Doing so alone would’ve been unbearable but thanks to Charlton Farm, we were never alone and we will be eternally grateful.”

Ben Pritchard was a huge supporter of Bristol City.Ben Pritchard was a huge supporter of Bristol City.

Ben was like many young boys; he loved football – supporting Bristol City and turning out for Portishead Town Sparks.

But last May, after playing in the garden he told Sarah and his father Shane he could not move his arm properly.

A trip to A&E and several scans later revealed Ben had a brain tumour.

Sarah said: “It was inoperable, incurable and we were told at best Ben would have 10 months to a year to live.”

Ben Pritchard with his dad Shane.Ben Pritchard with his dad Shane.

The Pritchards moved to Nottingham for 12 weeks after he was accepted on a clinical trial, but the tumour spread to his spine. After suffering a seizure, he moved back to spend his final eight days at Charlton Farm and died in November.

Sarah said: “Being at Charlton Farm, with its amazing staff in a beautiful setting meant we were able to just be a family, without worrying about medication, hospital appointments, care needs or chores.

“The end-of-life support offered by CHSW meant, as a family, we were better prepared, well informed and fantastically supported for what is the toughest and worst imaginable situation anyone should have to face.

“We want to use our experience to further enhance the amazing facilities at Charlton Farm, in particular for end of life care.

“Donations received will help support families like ours, who never thought for one moment we would need it.”

To donate to CHSW, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bemoreben

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