Until the day they lost their three-year old son, Tommy, The Smith family from Tamworth hadn’t heard of The Donna Louise. Tommy’s parents, Martin and Sharon, and big brother, Matt, share their story . . . .

“Tommy was born in August 2011. He had a full head of jet black hair. In January 2015, he began to show signs of being unwell. Mum, Sharon noticed one small, red spot on his neck. She instantly did the glass test but the spot didn't go away. We rang 111 and were told to go to the nearest A&E. As we arrived at the hospital we were met by a nurse who started asking us a few questions; the look of concern on her face said it all. She immediately sent staff to fetch the doctors and began the treatment for Meningitis.”

Tommy started to drift in and out of consciousness and the doctor said to prepare for the worst - words no parent should ever hear. Tommy continued to fight for a few hours before we were told we needed to say goodbye and be with our baby. I held his hand as I begged him to wake up.

The Sister explained that The Donna Louise was nearby - somewhere that we could have more time with Tommy and chance to say goodbye. When we arrived, we were taken to the Garden Suite where there was a little bed made up, I tucked Tommy in. We were given a bedroom where we could stay. Through the night Jane, from the Care Team, kept popping in. Each time I dropped off and woke up, realising it wasn't a dream, Jane was there. She would sit for hours talking to me about Tommy and gave me ideas for what we wanted to do at his funeral.”

We have been back to The Donna Louise on numerous occasions; each time has been emotional and it may sound strange, but it brings us closer to our little man. We will continue, while we have breath in our bodies, to keep fundraising for this great cause, helping them to help others and all in the memory of our little Tommy.”