The Duchess of Cambridge has vowed to plant a sunflower in memory of a boy, who was cared for by her patronage East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH). Kate, 38, carried out a joint video call with the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, last Wednesday, with three of their respective children's hospice patronages to mark this year's Children's Hospice Week (22 to 26 June). During the call, Kate thanked the charities during this critical time while also making her promise to the Delf family.
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WATCH: Camilla and Kate show support for Children's Hospice week during joint video call
Kate spoke with Stuart and Carla Delf, and their 13-year-old son Stuie, who ran a sponsored 5K every day last month to remember his nine-year-old brother, Fraser, who sadly died in January. Stuie, who has raised over £15,000 for EACH, told the Duchesses he was inspired by 100-year-old war veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The Duchess of Cornwall told him: "Oh Captain Tom. Captain Tom has done a lot for this country, hasn't he? He's inspired so many people. You must be very fit, Stuie."
The Delfs spent seven weeks living in the EACH hospice in Milton, near Cambridge, with Fraser before he died as a result of Coats plus syndrome, a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities.
Kate asked the family about the support they received from EACH at the time, with mum Carla, 37, telling the Duchess: "They are just such amazing people, they really are. The care was amazing, not just towards Fraser, making sure he was comfortable, but our wellbeing was met."
The Duchess said: "Children's hospices go that extra mile actually and support families like yourselves, I think it's extraordinary. And, like you say, they consider the whole family as well, which is really important."
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Camilla and Kate spoke to three of their patronages during the call
Stuart, 42, said afterwards: "[The Duchess] said she was going to plant a sunflower in memory of Fraser. I'm not sure which EACH it's going to be, but at one of the hospices."
The sunflower has been adopted as the emblem of hospice care, a symbol of joy with the seeds representing patients and the surrounding petals as love, care, and compassion.
The Duchesses also spoke with representatives from Children's Hospice South West and Helen & Douglas House, both of which have Camilla as patron. The Chief Executives of Children's Hospice South West and Helen & Douglas House talked about how the coronavirus pandemic has forced children’s hospices to be a "agile" and adapt to ensure they still meet the changing needs of families, many of whom are shielding at home and will continue to do so for some time.
The Duchess of Cornwall, commending the work of children’s hospices at this difficult time, said: "We'd like to thank everybody that works for hospices across the UK for the incredible job you do and allowing families to treasure their moments together." Speaking about the nurses and carers that look after children in hospices, The Duchess described them as "the most wonderful people" who "inspire happiness."
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