Two special children will be in the minds of a group of officers from Wiltshire Police when they take on the Three Peaks Challenge for Naomi House at the end of August.
PC James Trafford, of the Roads Policing Unit, will be joined by friends in the Wiltshire Police traffic, firearm and dog units for the major fundraising exercise.
When PC Trafford and his wife Jo’s son Will was referred to Naomi House in Winchester when he was just six months old, he had been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder. He was blind and had to be fed through a tube. The doctors had exhausted all options and there was nothing more they could do.
PC Trafford said: “The home was filled with laughter from children, their families and the staff. Will had one to one care from a nurse and Jo and I stayed in the family rooms. During the evenings we could relax and recharge knowing Will was being cared for.”
Tragically, Will died at Naomi House on 5th October 2007.
“Will was snuggled into my arm when he passed away,” said PC Trafford. “We stayed at the hospice and were looked after by the family support team. The help and support at Naomi House made the worst experience in our life manageable.”
On 30th July 2014, the Trafford’s welcomed Bethany (named Nessie by her big sister Katy) into the world but sadly the family had to look to Naomi House again.
James explained: “When Nessie was born myself and Jo recognised the early signs that she had the same condition as her brother and she was not expected to survive for six months. Her epilepsy was worse than Will’s.”
Once again, Naomi House worked hard to organise facilities and medical supplies for the family at home, liaising between the various doctors and the family’s GP, adjusting Nessie’s medication so that she was comfortable. Meanwhile, the family support team visited to help tell the Trafford’s two-year-old daughter Katy what was happening.
Nessie deteriorated rapidly and died at home with her family on 13th February 2015.
“We took Nessie to Naomi House where we put her in the butterfly suite and stayed with her until the funeral,” said PC Trafford. “The staff made such a fuss of Katy that she thought it was an amazing holiday!
“The support since both of our children’s deaths has been fantastic. We hope you never need their services, but for the families who do, the money raised for Naomi House and Jacksplace is invaluable.”
Sergeant Andy Moreton from the Roads Policing Unit, said: “When Nessie was born, the announcement was accompanied by a true sense of joy amongst our closely bonded team. The news of her condition and prognosis generated an equally profound atmosphere of sadness. Naomi House have provided fantastic support to James and his family through and beyond two unimaginably difficult times, therefore it is fitting that we show our appreciation of their work in memory of Will and Nessie.
“With a team average age of 43, we feel that the Three Peaks will be a fitting challenge for us all to complete together. Any sponsorship you could offer us would be gratefully appreciated.”
The team would like to thank everyone who has donated so far, as well as Rygor Commercial Vehicles at Westbury for the minibus donated for the trip, and Sumblers Bros Butchers in Marlborough who are providing food.
To sponsor the group, who will take part in the challenge between 28th and 30th August 2015, visit www.justgiving.com/will-and-nessie.
You can also text to donate. Just text WNTP99 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070 eg WNTP99 £10.
The group have also set up a Facebook page. Visit ‘Three Peaks Challenge for Naomi House‘.