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‘Family fun’ fundraising day held in memory of brave baby Brooke

News   •   May 22, 2014 12:40 BST

A local family are holding a family fun day on Sunday 25th May in Ripon to raise money for the charity which supported them while their baby girl was being treated in hospital.

With the support of good friend Luke Wilson, Sophie and Nick Horsburgh have planned the day to celebrate the life of their baby Brooke, who sadly passed away in February 2012. ‘Brooke’s Family Fun Day’ will be held at Ripon City AFC from 12 noon on the 25th and will raise money for charity The Sick Children’s Trust.

Brooke was born six weeks’ prematurely in March 2011. After a short time at home, Brooke became unwell. It was then that doctors became aware of her severe difficulties with breathing and feeding. She was admitted to the RVI in Newcastle, where Nick, Sophie and Rhys were able to stay close by her side in The Sick Children’s Trust’s Crawford House. After two months, and with a tracheostomy to help her breathe and oxygen-dependent, Brooke returned home.

Sadly, a short time later Brooke was re-admitted to the Leeds General Infirmary in a critical condition. Doctors performed lifesaving surgery and Nick and Sophie were told to prepare for the worst. The family were once again able to stay in one of The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’, Eckersley House, which is minutes’ from the high dependency and intensive care wards where Brooke was being treated.

Thankfully Brooke pulled through the surgery, but due to her feeding problems she needed many more operations, including fundoplication surgery for her reflux issues and bowel surgery. This meant Brooke needed to be fed via a tube straight into her tiny veins.

‘It was heart breaking for Nick and I to see our little girl go through so very much’, mum Sophie says. ‘There were many times when Brooke was so poorly in intensive care both Nick and I knew we could lose her, but our beautiful baby girl fought back time and time again showing us all her true strength’.

Sophie and Nick stayed at Eckersley House for six months while doctors battled to save Brooke’s life but Brooke’s complex health problems proved too much for such a brave little girl. Mum Sophie says: ‘held dearly in her mummy’s arms, her daddy holding her hand, surrounded by her family and god-parents Brooke’s life support was stopped and she passed away peacefully.’

‘The Sick Children’s Trust’ helped so much,’ Sophie adds. ‘Eckersley House became our refuge, almost like a second home providing all the facilities we needed as a family and only minutes from the children’s ward allowing us so much more precious time with Brooke’.

The day will include a bouncy castle, face painting and charity football match, as well as a BBQ, cake stall and raffle. Donations will be collected on the door and everyone is welcome to attend. Anyone who cannot make it to the event can donate online at

Jane Featherstone, Head of Fundraising at The Sick Children’s Trust, says: ‘Brooke’s story is incredibly moving and shows why it’s so important that families are able to stay by their child’s side. It costs us £28 a night to provide a room for a family, so the money raised at Brooke’s Family Fun Day will go directly towards helping other families in desperate circumstances. I can’t thank Sophie, Nick and the rest of the family enough.’

25th May, Ripon City AFC at 12 noon

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