Bereaved mum says please support Chestnut Tree House

Gemma and Finlay Croucher
Gemma and Finlay Croucher

The annual Chestnut Tree House Night to Remember Midnight Walk is just around the corner on Saturday, May 18.

Gemma Croucher, mum of Finlay who sadly passed away last year, wanted everyone to know about the sponsored walk because the support she received from the hospice left her “eternally grateful”.

Gemma’s son Finlay was born in February 2012. He sadly passed away at St Thomas’s Hospital in London, just 24 days later, after surgery for a major heart condition that was only discovered the day after he was born.

Gemma, from Brighton, said: “Whilst struggling to deal with the desperate shock of what had happened to our newly formed family, my husband Kevin and I were advised of Chestnut Tree House in Sussex and the care and support the hospice can give to families in situations like ours.

“Our nurse at St Thomas’s also advised us of the hospice’s new neonatal care service and informed us that they had space to help our family with bereavement support right away.

“Both Kevin and I had no idea what to expect from Chestnut Tree House - the only children’s hospice in Sussex. “The word ‘hospice’ terrified us but we knew we didn’t want to go home and certainly weren’t ready to say goodbye to Finlay and definitely not in a hospital morgue.

“Soon we found ourselves arriving at the house with our precious Finlay, where we were welcomed into what I can only describe as a huge family.

“Chestnut Tree House rescued my family and I at the lowest point of our lives. I couldn’t tell you what the day was, I was in complete shock. The staff at the House were amazing and I am eternally grateful for everything they did for us.”

It costs almost £3million a year to provide all the care services at Chestnut Tree House and Gemma, her friends and members of her family have already completed a Midnight Walk to say thank you.

Gemma is not doing the walk this year because she is expecting Finlay’s brother or sister any day now but she is hoping as many people as possible will sign up for the sponsored, overnight event along Eastbourne seafront.

Sign up today for the Eastbourne Night to Remember Midnight Walk on Saturday, May 18. Visit nighttorememebr or for more information telephone 01903 706354 or email