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Ruby's Birthday

Shauna Loughran

Reporter:

Shauna Loughran

AN Ahoghill family are holding a fundraising event for Northern Ireland Children's Hospice to commemorate the care given to their daughter, little Ruby Powell.

Ruby passed away when she was just five years old on November 18, 2017, at the Hospice.

The fundraising event will be called Ruby's Birthday Fundraiser and will be held on Saturday, November 10 at Ahoghill Community Centre, on what would have been Ruby's sixth birthday.

Ruby was born with a severe brain injury and was diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Multi Focal Epilepsy.

Although Ruby's short life was filled with complex medical needs, it was a life filled with love from her parents Lisa and Andy, little brother Ezra and her wider family.

Ruby's mum Lisa told the Guardian: "Ruby had the most precious personality. Anyone that met her - she took a piece of their heart straight away and they never forgot her.

"Ruby had to battle a lot day to day, but she done it with huge strength, she was fully depended on us 24/7 for all of her care. This was huge for us as a family.

"Ruby did not sleep at night. She had a lot of cerebral irritation and suffered from frequent seizures daily We, as her parents, were the only ones able to provide this care.

"This is where the Hospice played a huge part in our lives, Ruby attended the hospice for respite from the age of six months. The hospice is a home away from home that provides the most amazing care and love to the children and their families with full 1:1 medical care 24/7.

"We, as a family, felt completely comfortable that Ruby was being cared for to the highest standard, in a place filled with love and joy. This gave us time to refuel to keep going that bit longer.

"The Hospice were also there for us in Ruby’s end of life care, we spent our final two days with her there, in the comfort of a home setting with the support of the nursing staff around us.

"This gave us precious time that we would never have got anywhere else.

"We made memories that we will cherish forever and we are truly indebted to the Hospice for having such a significant impact in our final days with Ruby.

"So, to remember Ruby on her birthday we are holding a birthday party fundraiser, with all money raised going to the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice.

"The NI Children's Hospice is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland providing care to 300 children with life limiting conditions.

"The annual running cost of the Hospice is £3.82million, that is for four rooms of the 10 the hospice has - the hope would be to get all 10 rooms funded and running.

"The government support is only 20% of this, that's why the Hospice relies so heavily on fundraising events to keep this facility running for families like ourselves."

Lisa is also planning to launch a blogging website called chasingladybirds.com in October. This will help Lisa to share her own journey, Ruby's life and in turn provide support for other families going through similar experiences.

A face book page called Ruby Powell's Journey and an instagram page ChasingLadybirds was the prelude to this, giving family and friends the opportunity to be updated throughout Ruby's treatments and milestones.

Lisa said: "Everyone that knew Ruby knew that ladybirds was her wee thing.

"When she was only a few months old a ladybird landed on her toes one summer day and that's where it all started.

"In my journey of grief I decided that blogging might be a good outlet and a good way to share my story and journey of grief.

"Chasing ladybirds came from our connection of ladybirds with Ruby, and Chasing was down to we will always chase Ruby’s memory.

"We will never forget our memories and love for her - we will always chase every moment we had with her."

Lisa and her family would love it if you can make it to Ruby's Birthday Fundraiser.

There will bouncing castles, soft play, face painting, nail painting, cake sale and a raffle with an array of great prizes. There will even be a live male wax at 2pm!

The fun kicks off at 1pm until 4pm and most importantly all money raised goes towards this vital cause - a poignant and fitting way to remember little Ruby's legacy.

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