A CHESTER family say they are extremely grateful to the Countess of Chester Hospital for the kindness staff gave their little girl as she was fighting for her life.
Libby O’Brien was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer, when she was 16 months old. The cancer originated in her skull and had formed a large tumour in her brain.
Through intensive treatment at both Alder Hey and the Countess of Chester hospitals, doctors managed to remove the tumour three times – but each time it returned.
Libby lost her battle with the disease aged two years and eight months on August 15.
Parents David and Pippa from Hamilton Street, Hoole, say their daughter was an inspiration and the care she received from the children’s ward staff at the Countess of Chesterwent beyond what they had expected.
Pippa said: “Libby was never, never scared of going to hospital, and never told us she didn’t want to go and that made it so much easier.”
She added: “As her speech improved she would often respond to us telling her that we were going there with an enthusiastic ‘yes’ and a punch of the air.”
David said: “She saw the staff as her friends and so they became part of her family and part of our family. She trusted them and would allow them to examine her and care for her.”
Libby loved to go into the sensory room at the hospital and the family always talked about it as Libby’s light room. Libby was very sociable and loved to follow the nurses around and interact with them.
The couple found the staff were not only good to Libby, they were very good to them too.
Pippa said: “They really got to know us as a family, from the top doctors and consultants all the way down through the nurses and admin staff they were all so good to her and to us.”
In April Dave and Pippa learned Libby wouldn’t recover from the cancer and they decided to spend time together as a family.
They took Libby and her five-year-old brother Ben on holiday and for most of those of those last three months Libby was better than she had been in a long time.
Pippa said: “Libby got stronger and better, as the effects of the treatment wore off. When the end came it was thankfully very quick.
“She never suffered and was never in pain and as parents in this terrible situation we are extremely grateful for that.”
David said: “Libby was a little girl who loved life and wanted to get on with it.”
He added:“Her strength of character, stoicism and joie de vivre remained constant and true and it was always these traits of hers that were our support and are now our inspiration.”