Children's charity shares heart-warming tale for Christmas appeal

©Barbara Evripidou/

The Jessie May charity provides specialist care for terminally ill life-limited children, and their families, in the South West. - Credit: Barbara Evripidou

A children's charity in Clevedon has launched its Christmas appeal to continue funding its care for terminally-ill children and their families.

The Jessie May charity has offered specialist palliative care since 1996 by the parents of Jessica May Purrington, who died at the age of four months.

Alongside its appeal, the charity has told the story of four-year-old's Ariana and Noah whose friendship has touched the hearts of its nurses.

Jessie May has helped children since 1996.

Jessie May has helped children since 1996. - Credit: Jessie May

Noah is one of six children in the UK diagnosed with Primary Hyperoxaluria, a rare inherited condition which affects the liver.

Ariana was born with several injuries including a dislocated hip and a collapsed lung and was later diagnosed with Renal Dysplasia, which means one of her kidneys had not developed properly.

The pair's parents, Hayley and Becky, met on the dialysis unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital and became friends, as did Ariana and Noah.

Noah's mum Becky told the Times: "Without the support of Jessie May, well, I just do not know.

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"It is difficult to put into words, until you have needed and had the support of Jessie May, you would never understand how much that means and what a difference it makes." 

Jessie May

It costs around £1.3million for Jessie May to provide care for each child. - Credit: Jessie May

A spokesperson for the charity revealed that it has tried to synchronise Ariana and Noah's visit since they have become best friends.

They said: "They both quickly became the best of friends  - holding each other’s hands when experiencing ‘off days’.

"Jessie May came into their lives within both of their first years, and where possible try to synchronize Ariana and Noah’s visits so that Becky and Hayley can have time together as friends to focus on themselves.

"If you can donate this Christmas, you can help make a difference to all the Jessie May children and families we support, like Becky, Hayley, Ariana and Noah."

It costs £1.3million for the charity to provide care for each child - with it almost entirely dependent on donations to fund this.

Jessie May has a team of dedicated nurses who provide palliative care during a child’s life, and provide bereavement care for families after a child's death.

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