LOSING a child is the toughest challenge any parent can face, and it’s an experience mum Hannah Henriques knows sadly too well.
Hannah, from Fareham, lost her daughter, Beau, just before her sixth birthday in June last year.
Beau was born with congenital heart disease, and died when heart surgery operation at Southampton General Hospital failed.
Hannah said: ‘Beau endured so much in her little life, including three major open-heart surgeries, 20 other heart surgeries, four cardiac catheters and numerous other procedures.
‘Throughout her life, she showed so much courage and determination.
‘We miss Beau incredibly. She gave the world so much love and joy. She truly was our world and our life.’
Now Hannah is planning to start a charity which she will call the Beau Halo Trust to help other parents who have lost a child.
The goal is to set up a 24-hour phone line to offer support and advice to bereaved parents in the weeks that follow a child’s death.
Hannah and five teachers from Harrison Primary School are planning to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays tomorrow in an effort to raise at least half of the £5,000 needed to have the trust commissioned as a charity.
One of the teachers, Stephanie Traer, said it was an important cause that she was happy to support.
Ms Traer said: ‘Hannah is so determined and we want to help her to set up this valuable charity.
‘By doing the abseil we are showing our support for such a loved little girl taken far too early.’
Ms Traer said Beau attended the school for more than eight months before she died.
She said: ‘She was an amazing little girl and you never would have realised she had a heart condition. She was so full of energy, laughter and happiness.
‘When she joined my class in Year R she was one of the happiest little girls I have ever met and her smile lit up the classroom.’
Ms Traer said losing a child must be heartbreaking, and she was surprised by the lack of support there was for parents, which is why Hannah’s charity is needed.
She said: ‘Hannah was offered no support whatsoever and so such a service is lacking in Hampshire.
‘Hannah had nobody to talk to and was left making tricky decisions about the funeral by herself.’
Hannah said she would always have happy memories of Beau, who loved horse riding, ballet, tap dancing, drawing, and pretending to be a Disney princess.
She said: ‘Beau blossomed into a thoughtful and popular little girl, and would often return home with awards and certificates.
‘I couldn’t have been more proud.’
Donations can be made at gofundme.com/abseilforbeau