THE LIFE OF FORRES youngster Eileidh Paterson is to be remembered through a new Charity Trust that will seek to help children and families going through similar struggles.
Eileidh was just five years old when she passed away in June, her fight against neuroblastoma touching the hearts of people around the world.
Now her mother Gail is set to head a new charity, the Eileidh Rose Rainbow Trust, that aims to channel funding into a ‘home from home’ project – Eileidh Rose House – for families whose children have recently died and ‘the Puddles Project’, which will focus on childhood cancer by helping parents access information and funding research.
Gail announced her intention online yesterday, saying: “Losing a child is the hardest thing a parent can go through and you want the last thing you can do for them to be as perfect as possible.
“It not only affects parents but also siblings, grandparents etc, yet the focus of any Funeral Director is the deceased. Currently, the deceased is taken to the hospital Chapel of Rest and then taken to the rest room at Funeral Home.
“When we lost Eileidh, we were extremely lucky as the ward was empty for the first time in 13 years so it allowed us to stay on the ward with her from when she passed on the Saturday, until the Funeral Director finally took her on the Monday, as her doctor arranged for us to have a cooling blanket from CHAS (Children’s Hospice Association Scotland).”
Gail said that made “a huge difference”, adding: “I want to provide this service for other families as I cannot be the only parent who doesn’t want to be separated from their child at this heartbreaking time, nor her brothers and sisters to be the only siblings.”
Eileidh Rose House will consist of four separate homes and a shared area where families can interact, with every home having a separate bedroom for the deceased.
The Puddles Project, meanwhile, will focus on childhood cancer, Gail adding: “It will help parents access information about clinical trials in the UK and abroad, provide support and it is hoped will eventually create software to assist in the diagnosis children earlier, preferably at stage II, which has a higher survival rate.
“This will take a lot of time, effort and money so it will remain in the background for the foreseeable future.”
Gail will chair assisted by a group of six named Trustees – but first the new Trust is required to raise £5000 to become a registered charity. To that end a new crowdfunding page has been created online.