On Friday 31st August 2012 local family Mike, Nicola and Isaac Graham said goodbye to their gorgeous 23 month old son and little brother, Reuben. During a beautiful ceremony led by Vicar James Halstead at St Michael All Angels Church in Mottram, Reuben's parents, family and friends vowed that his life was not taken in vain, and that he would leave a lasting legacy.
Just 2 weeks earlier, Reuben was enjoying a family holiday in Devon, he was his usual happy self having fun crabbing with his older brother Isaac. Reuben had been ill for 3 weeks on and off and despite several Doctors visits, nobody was unduly worried. He would be sick in a morning, recover within minutes and be fine for the rest of the day. A tell tale sign for things to come, but never in their wildest nightmares could they have known what was about to happen.
Reuben had a fall and became pale and distressed. His worried parents set off to A & E at Barnstable Hospital, however when Reuben failed to respond to some routine tests he was sent for a CT scan. The scan showed a large mass on his brain which the doctors suspected was a tumour.
He was quickly transferred to the neurological unit at Frenchay Hospital by air ambulance where he was rushed into surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain. Plans were quickly put in place for further surgery but sadly Reuben arrested during the night and his organs began to fail. Despite fighting his way through another 5 hour op some two days later he was too poorly to undergo any further surgery. He was transferred to PICU at Bristol Children's Hospital so they could help his organs to recover. Reuben fell asleep in his Mummy's arms on Tuesday 21st August 2012.
Reuben had suffered an ATRT which is Atypical terratoid rhabdoid tumour, it is a very rare and aggressive form of Cancerous tumour, only 4 to 5 children will be diagnosed with this tumour in the UK per year and there are very few symptoms..........
Despite the devastating grief that comes when a quarter of your family is gone, his brave and inspirational parents have set up a charity in his name, they plan to have a retreat in the North West countryside for children with life limiting and life threatening illnesses, with a support and bereavement counselling centre for Mummy's, Daddy's and Siblings that have lost their precious children. A place where families can build memories and take in the rolling hills and countryside, a place of comfort, peace and tranquillity.
Please help them in any way you can.
You can follow Reuben's retreat on www.facebook.com/reubensretreat or visit their website www.reubensretreat.org - Reuben's Retreat is a registered charity - 1150436