HEARTACHE for one family continues to find a sympathetic home at Claire House.
August 15 marked the first anniversary of the death of little Libby O'Brien, who succumbed to cancer aged just two years old.
Parents Dave and Phillipa, of Hamilton Street, Hoole, saw their daughter go through 14 cycles of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer when she was 16 months old.
Libby was diagnosed with a rare children’s bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma which originated in her skull and formed a large tumour in her brain.
Dad Dave helped organise the first annual Libby O’Brien Cup golf event at Ellesmere Port Golf Club which raised £4,300 for Claire House.
He said: “The profound effect Libby had on us, I feel there's a necessity to do something good under her name.
“Six weeks after the chemotherapy stopped in April 2009, the tumour grew back. It was removed but no further treatment.
“At that point it was about enjoying life as much as we could.
“We went to Claire House for one visit for a weekend in July last year and had lots of fun.”
The whole family, including Libby's brother Ben, now six, moved into the hospice when they knew Libby's health was deteriorating on August 8. Just a week later she died but Mr O'Brien says the family have happy memories of their time there.
“Those eight days were very special to us,” he remembers.
“It was obviously the worst moment in my life, but we look back at the eight days at Claire House with very fond memories.
“The professionalism of the staff allows you to spend real, quality family time together.
“The nurses there allow you to forget the medical side.
“It allows you to be a parent for the last few days.”
The care offered by Claire House did not stop when Libby died.
Dave has used their counselling service and Ben loves going.
“He went to create a memory box,” added Dave.
“All those things get you through on a day-to-day basis.
“It's about looking after the whole family and they do it brilliantly.”
“There's something very special about Claire House. We didn't want Libby to die in a hospital. Claire House was perfect.
“You haven't got to worry about anything other than being a family. They take away all the other strains.”