The Beatrice Octavia Iris Brighter Future Fund

A couple of months ago, I was honoured to have been asked to take some pictures of a very loving and very brave family. I have struggled to find the words for this blog piece but amazingly, given everything, Beatrice’s mummy has done this for me. I urge you to read her words below and if you can, please give whatever you can to Beatrice’s Brighter Future Fund. As much as I have struggled to know what to say, I am so very pleased to have met Beatrice and to have spent this time with her and her family.

If you are looking for a family photographer to document your story, please get in touch.

Beatrice

Our little girl Beatrice became unwell on 10 January, aged six weeks. She was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy, a rare heart disease. Her prognosis was poor, and as a family we were devastated. We vowed to create as many happy memories as we could, and Rob helped us achieve one of the brightest.

On the final day we had at home in Norwich with Beatrice, we enjoyed an afternoon in our beloved Eaton Park. Splashing around in the puddles, we were able to forget sadness and embrace happiness, enjoying each other and our beautiful Beatrice. Rob captured our fun perfectly, and the photos he produced, and the memories created, are now ours to treasure forever (and our son Elliott made a new best friend).

Sadly, Beatrice’s heart was failing rapidly, and hours after Rob’s photos were taken she became critically unwell, requiring ventilation and emergency support from Southampton’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. We then spent six weeks at Great Ormond Street Hospital, watching our brave girl cling to life with everything she had.

Ultimately, her only option was a heart transplant, but we knew her chances were slim. She was top of the UK heart transplant list. She continued to fight, but tragically the mountain became too steep for her broken heart and tiny, frail body. She passed peacefully from this world on 24 February, aged 12 weeks.

In her short life, Beatrice achieved more than most can hope to in their lifetimes: she inspired people to register as organ donors, give blood, and simply appreciate the fragility of life and love. To date, she has raised over £4,000 for GOSH. Whilst we, as a family, are lost, never to be the same, we will be forever inspired by the love Beatrice gave and received.

We are eternally grateful to Rob for that wonderful afternoon; his photos captured Beatrice perfectly – they are the most precious of memories from our family’s last ‘normal’ afternoon. Photos and memories are all we have now, but every time we look at Rob’s work we will smile, and that is priceless.

The legacy of our amazing, flame-haired baby girl will live on with The Beatrice Octavia Iris Smith Brighter Future Fund, raising money for a heart and lung bypass machine at GOSH. Please give, if you can. It will help to ensure that others like Beatrice are given a chance at life. GOSH is an exceptional hospital full of exceptional people, and every pound and penny makes a profound difference.

Leigh (Beatrice’s Mummy)

 

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By Rob Dodsworth