Harrogate mum praises Martin House

Harrogate mum praises Martin House

Published by May Norman at 7:01am 21st June 2019. (Updated at 1:31pm 21st June 2019)

"Martin House took so much of our worry away": mum of a girl who passed away at the Wetherby hospice praises staff

  • The family of a girl who passed away at Martin House is praising the work of the hospice.
  • The message comes on Children's Hospice Week.
  • Siobhan and Liam Killeen lost their daughter, Olivia, in April 2018.
  • Olivia had been suffering with a undiagnosed neuro-degenerative condition.

A Harrogate family is praising the work of Martin House children's hospice, near Wetherby.

Siobhan and Liam Killeen's daughter Olivia died at the hospice in April 2018.

When Olivia was born in 2011, she showed no signs of any problems with her health. But at 10 weeks old, Olivia began to have seizures and was diagnosed with West syndrome, which is a rare form of epilepsy.

After numerous hospital appointments with specialists, Olivia had a brain scan where doctors found that her condition was life-limiting - it was here her parents were told about Martin House.

Siobhan told Stray FM:

"I remember feeling that we were on the wrong side of sleep - like the nightmare was in your waking hours. It didn't feel real. In all honesty, my initial reaction was resistance to thinking of going to a hospice. I couldn't process the magnitude of everything. The word is so emotive and it's not the direction you want to go in and at the time, I didn't want to accept that really."

On national Children's Hospice week (17 - 23 June), Siobhan's been sharing her story with Stray FM to raise awareness of the important work Martin House carries out for families across Yorkshire.

Martin House
Olivia's sister Phoebe (left), Olivia (centre) and mum Siobhan

Siobhan continued:

"I expected it to be a depressing place - but abolsutely the reverse. You could see families were enjoying their time together. It provided an environment where you could be a family. You didn't have to worry about all the of the little detail of the day when we stayed - we literally had family time.

"You can feel isolated at time - there was nobody we knew personally in this situation. And then you meet all these amazing people at Martin House - it feels like a big family. I mean that takes time but we just felt so confident there and got to know the care team so well and they took so much stress away for us."

Olivia died peacefully at Martin House in April 2018 with her family around her. She was 7-years-old.

Siobhan concluded:

"We're grateful for everything Martin house has done for us and the way they help you to remember your child. We feel proud to be connected with Martin House and we treasure all the memories we have made with them."

Children’s Hospice Week is the only week in the year dedicated to raising awareness and funds for children’s hospice and palliative care services across the UK, and the seriously ill children and young people they support.

These services are a lifeline for families when they’re facing the toughest of times, and they can’t continue their vital work without your support.

Martin House

Martin House provides family-led care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions. The hospice support families from across West, North and East Yorkshire, both at the hospice and in the community. 

For more information, please visit the Martin House Hospice website.