East: Kate's First Video Message
The Duchess of Cambridge has recorded her first ever video message - for East Anglia's Children's Hospices.
Inspired by the "remarkable work" of the East Anglia's Children's Hospices - EACH - HRH The Duchcess of Cambridge has recorded her first ever video message in support.
It's Children's Hospice Week - and the Duchess, who is patrol on EACH, wanted to encourage people to support children's hospices across the UK.
Her Royal Highness recorded the message at her London home of Clarence House - and is being aired for the first time today - to coincide with National Chrildren's Hospice Week, and culminating with Superhero Friday - a day of hero inspired fundraising.
In the video, Kate encourages viewers to "recognise, celebrate and support" the inspirational work of hospices' to ensure "children and their families can make the most of the precious time they have together.
EACH supports so many families across the east of England - like the Carlson family.
Helen Carlson lives in St Ives with her husband Steve, their two year old son William and pet dogs Tango and Max and guinea pigs Pheno and Barb. Helen told Heart: "William was diagnosed with several brain development problems during my 20 week pregnancy scan and subsequent MRI scans. He has Lissencephaly, Dandy Walker Variant and Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. As a result, he has complex epilepsy, cortical visual impairment, is gastrostomy fed and has severe global development delay.
He as trouble responding to medication and was having seizures where he stopped breathing. At one point we were out in the car and William stopped breathing. We had to pull to the side of the road for Steve to resuscitate him before going to hospital.
Because of his condition, our consultant advised us not to have him resuscitated in the future and hospital staff were made aware. We were referred to EACH when William was six months old and staff visited us in hospital. It's just what we needed as we felt very scared about the future.
Since Williams seizure's have become more controlled although there are still ups and downs. William has overnight care at the hospice and it's a great opportunity for us to do some normal things without having to worry about William. He loves going in the hydro pool, sensory room and having music therapy.
One of the best things about the hospice is the parent and toddler group. It's been a great opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation.
Helen, Amy and Jenny who run the group are so good at making the activities accessible and relevant to all the children, so we always feel included.
Having a child with complex health problems can leave you feeling like an outsider but when we're at hospice events and we see all the other families in similar situations it helps us to know we're not alone."