Two young children with life-shortening conditions from South Shields had a magical sleepover arranged by staff at St Oswald’s Hospice.

Keira Moore, aged 9, and Hannah Jones, aged 7, are both cared for at the Children and Young Adults Service at St Oswald’s Hospice, where they stay for short breaks every month to manage their complex conditions.

This International Friendship Day (30th July) St Oswald’s is highlighting how the hospice makes memorable moments for the people they care for. Staff at the Hospice arranged for Keira and Hannah to have a sleepover while staying at the Hospice, something neither of them have ever done with friends before.

Karen Taylor, Staff Nurse at St Oswald’s Hospice, said:

“Arranging a sleepover for the girls earlier this month was so special. Girls their age are able to have sleepovers with friends but due to their complex health conditions, Hannah and Keira have never been able to. At the sleepover the girls could just be girls their age, playing on iPads and talking about how late they could stay up. It’s also one of the only times the girls can be together without adults supervising which I know the girls loved.

“At the Hospice we are always thinking of ways to help the children and young adults we care for to create lasting memories and we wanted to make their stay this month unforgettable. And for me, being able to arrange things like this makes my job worthwhile and I left work happy knowing that I had made a difference.”

St Oswald’s Children and Young Adults Service provides short breaks for children with life-shortening conditions from across the region, plus support for families. St Oswald’s can also provide care for babies, children and young adults who are at the end of their lives.

One of the girls, Keira, has been coming to St Oswald’s since she was 18 months old. For anyone first meeting Keira, she looks like a happy, healthy child, however due to a complex heart condition she tires easily, which means she needs specialist care.

Terri, Keira’s mum, said:

“Keira was over the moon that she was allowed to have a sleepover with Hannah. She thoroughly enjoyed it and hasn’t stopped talking about it! She has been telling everyone she’s seen since getting home from St Oswald’s all about her and Hannah’s special sleepover.”