REBECCA EMILY RALPHS, WAS BORN ON WEDNESDAY, 8TH MARCH 1995.

On the eve of my daughter’s (Rebecca) first heart operation (when she was 8 weeks old and weighed 6lb 5oz) her christening took place on the cardiac ward.  You can imagine how worried I was.  I needn’t have been, she was out of hospital and home 9 days later.  However, on investigation, almost 5 years later, the cardiac staff – involved with Rebecca’s checkups – were shocked to find how badly damaged her heart was after being in heart failure the year before – she urgently required further surgery.

Outwardly she appeared to be in good health, full of energy, attending mainstream school daily and never wanting to go to bed!  I often wonder how she had managed to hide her illness.  Rebecca’s 2nd operation wasn’t as successful as the first and she had to undergo further major heart surgery 4 days later.  I was devastated when Rebecca ‘died’, I didn’t want to live without her, I certainly couldn’t imagine life without her, she was my soulmate.  I had waited 36 years for what I considered to be the best thing that had ever happened to me, the birth of my beautiful daughter.

In those early dark, bleak days of bereavement, I didn’t realise that she was my wake up call – my Angel in disguise!  It was a few months before I realised the significance of the date of her passing to the other side (9th May 2000) which was the 5th anniversary of her christening ie what bigger message could I receive than I’d been blessed, I was very fortunate to share Rebecca’s 5 precious years on this earth plane!

Rebecca happened to have Down’s Syndrome.  I always felt I had her for a reason, she changed my life so completely.  In the beginning it was all doom and gloom, Professionals told me the ‘bad news’ ie all the things she wouldn’t be able to achieve, and those she did would take longer than ‘normal’ children.  Well Rebecca proved them wrong and constantly amazed me – Rebecca was behind in some areas (speech in particular) but not significantly which the Psychologist reported when she was assessed aged 4.5.  She also said that her social skills were better than most other children her age!  Rebecca was bright, she was reading and when we started to learn Makaton signs she even created her own! She was also polite and often said please and thank you (without prompting), speaking the words and signing too.  She even thanked the Doctor and Nurse who took blood from her when I had to take her, in the early hours, to hospital a few weeks before she ‘died’.

Rebecca loved life, she was always happy, often making people laugh.  She made up her own jokes, opening her arms wide to indicate how much she loved me and once she saw the look of joy on my face, my heart filled with love for her, she would put her thumb and finger together to show me how little she loved me!  My face must have been a picture and she would laugh.

Through this short introduction to Rebecca, I am sure she will have touched your heart!  Imagine how much more you could benefit by having a holiday with her Mummy and her husband, Tom.