Oliver’s Story Helps to Spread Awareness of Vital Children’s Hospice Services

A young mum and her two-year-old son are helping Hope House Children’s Hospices to spread awareness of the importance of their services been to families with seriously ill children during 2020. 

Oliver with his mum Bethan
Oliver with his mum Bethan

Little Oliver Evans’ photo is on the front of 28,000 envelopes sent to supporters, while his mum Bethan tells their heart-warming story on the newsletter inside. The ‘Oliver’s Story Appeal’ is also featuring on the charity’s website and on its social media channels. 

Bethan said she was thrilled to be asked to share her story and so happy to be able to do something to help the hospices – Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith – which are their ‘lifeline’.

With his beautiful blond hair and blue eyes little Oliver looks a picture of health – but Bethan is only too aware of the life-threatening condition that lurks beneath his happy smiles. Oliver was born after a normal pregnancy and, for the first year of his life, she had no concerns at all. 

“He never liked sleep – I used to joke he was allergic to it! He was quick to crawl and into everything and he was just starting to walk too,” she recalls.

“Then he began falling asleep all the time, and when he wasn’t asleep he would scream for no reason and go bright red. I knew something was wrong but I’m sure everyone just thought I was being a paranoid first time mum.” 

Bethan took Oliver to the doctor and to hospital. Each time they were sent home she became more and more worried and distressed. 

Then Oliver had a seizure while they were at a hospital. He was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital on life support and doctors there discovered he was suffering from a viral infection. It was a traumatic time for Bethan but, after three months of treatment, Oliver was well enough to return home. 

Tragically, his illness has left him with chronic lung disease and kidney problems. To survive, he needs to stay connected 24 hours a day to his own personal oxygen supply and take a whole regime of different medicines. 

Leaving hospital with her little son, Bethan was terrified about how she was going to cope. Thankfully, Hope House Children’s Hospices was there for them both. 

“When you are in hospital the staff are great, but when you leave you are completely on your own again. It is scary,”she recalls. 

“But someone told me about Hope House and I went to have a look with Oliver and it was brilliant. The nurses are highly trained and know just how to cope with Oliver and his oxygen because there is no warning – one moment he is fine and the next minute he goes downhill really fast. 

“One day I took him into town in his pushchair and he ended up being ill and on life-support again. Now I am quite scared to take him out on my own and it breaks my heart that he might be missing out. 

“But when the Hope House nurses take him out, or when he is with them at Hope House, I know he is safe because they know just what to do. It’s the only time that he gets to do things like run about the park because they are able to run around after him carrying the oxygen cylinder. They even go up and down slides with him – they are brilliant and Oliver has opportunities he wouldn’t normally have.” 

Bethan and Oliver were also grateful to have the continued support of Hope House during the Coronavirus pandemic too. It meant they felt less alone. 

“During the Covid lockdowns when we were sheltering they are always there too, calling me regularly to check on us and offer help and advice, and even coming to talk through the window in full PPE. They even helped us by collecting all Oliver’s medication and bringing it to us,” adds Bethan. 

“I can’t start to think what life would be like for us without Hope House. They really are our lifeline.” 

Fundraising Director Simi Epstein said that she hoped sharing Oliver’s Story would show people the importance of keeping services running at Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith. 

“There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging and testing time for so many people, and we have found that children and families have needed our help and support more than ever. 

“But it was, and still is, a struggle to cover our costs. With our shops closed for long periods and our charity events cancelled, we have already seen our income fall by £1.25 million.  

“There is no way to recoup this massive shortfall, but we are hoping that people who believe in what we do and want to help will remember us this Christmas and make a donation if they are able.” 

Donations can be made online at www.hopehouse.org.uk/olivers-story

Shropshire Live
Shropshire Live has been providing Shropshire with independent news and entertainment since 2009. Send us your news to interact@shropshirelive.com or call 01743 818 095. For advertising information call Fiona on 01743 816 817.
Advertise with us for £50 per week

Advertisement Feature

Simply Ribbons is not what you would expect in more ways than one!

Catering for individuals, small businesses and multinationals Simply Ribbons offer high-quality ribbons from UK and European manufacturers.
Telford College - Employer incentives 1

Telford College offers cash incentives to local employers

Telford College is offering Government-funded cash incentives to Shropshire employers, to give young people a helping hand with their careers.
- Advertising -
Advertise with Shropshire Live for £50 per week
Arrest Handcuff Generic

Drug warrant leads to three arrests in Shrewsbury

Three people have been arrested for drug offences in Shrewsbury following a warrant.
Pictured celebrating the new High Street fund are, from left, Steph Burton of Dawley Launderette, Claudia Churchill of Hilbrae Charity Shop with Boo the dog and Monika Janczylo of Golden Rolls

Fund to boost Dawley High Street

Great Dawley Town Council has launched a ‘Community High Street Fund’ with £35,000 available to help bring new life to the area.
Fossil Free Shropshire demonstrated outside Shirehall dressed as scientists in order to highlight a controversial new report from the Shropshire County Pension Fund.

Campaigners reject Shropshire County Pension Fund’s new climate risk report

Campaigners from Fossil Free Shropshire, a grassroots group calling on the Shropshire County Pension Fund to stop investing in fossil fuels, protested outside Shirehall over the release of a new Climate Risk report at today's pension fund meeting.

Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 2 – 2 Accrington Stanley

Shrewsbury Town once again concede late on as Steve Cotterill’s first league game in charge ends with a share of the spoils.
Racing at Chelmarsh Sailing Club. Photo: Terry Gumbley

Chelmarsh Sailing Club shortlisted for national award

Chelmarsh Sailing Club has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award following a hugely successful year on the water despite the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Match Preview: Shrewsbury Town v Accrington Stanley

In a huge boost for Shrewsbury Town supporters, 2,000 of them will witness Steve Cotterill’s first league game in charge this evening.
- Advertising -
Shropshire Chamber of Commerce Chief executive Richard Sheehan

Shropshire Chamber says Government needs to do more to help businesses

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Government to ensure it is meeting five key tests to help power an economic recovery.
Brian Evans, managing partner of Lanyon Bowdler

Shropshire law firm maintains excellent rankings in national guide

A Shropshire law firm has maintained its excellent rankings in a national guide, with 14 lawyers highlighted as recommended practitioners.

New radio station aimed at the Shropshire business community launches online

A brand new online radio station aimed at the Shropshire business community has launched online.
Cards for Good Causes supports more than 250 national and local charities

Cards for Good Causes pop-up reopens in Ludlow

Cards for Good Causes in Ludlow has reopened in a new location for 2020 with social distancing and covid-19 precautions in place.
The lights and music will be on daily from 4:30pm through to 10pm

Charity Christmas lights shine bright in Higher Heath

For the third year running, a house in Twemlows Avenue, Higher Heath, Whitchurch will be decked with lights in aid of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC).
Denise Kerr

Oswestry nursery manager launches debut children’s book

A manager from a local Oswestry Nursery, Jeanette Pearson-Tanner, has launched her debut children’s book – ‘The Pre School Detectives’.
- Advertising -
The live highlights included the battle between chivalric heroes in the popular Tournament of Knights

Online audiences entertained by digital 2020 Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre

Audiences were treated to the authentic historic festivities of the annual Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre when it was held online for the first time.
Severn Valley Railway is launching something really exciting from Bridgnorth this Christmas

Christmas is coming to the Severn Valley Railway

The Severn Valley Railway launches its special Christmas services on Thursday 3rd December and is celebrating an enthusiastic take-up of seats on board its trains.
Judy Collins

Folk legend Judy Collins tops artist list for Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2021

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has made its first major line-up announcement for 2021 after managing to secure the majority of its performers from this year's festival that was postponed due to coronavirus.
Karen Lee of The Walnut

Wellington’s Walnut restaurant is on the move

An award-winning Wellington restaurant has announced exciting plans to move premises and diversify its offer.
quuens fish and chips frontage

New fish and chip shop opens in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury has a sparkling new takeaway - Queens Fish & Chips is now open serving a delicious range of hot food.
The Vegan Hub Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Vegan Hub goes online

Despite the latest lockdown one of Shrewsbury's newest Vegan outlets is continuing to trade with orders now being taken online.
- Advertisment -

Advertisement Feature


overcast clouds
4.3 ° C
4.4 °
4 °
93 %
90 %
5 °
5 °
4 °
4 °
5 °
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Latest Articles

- Advertisment -