Debbie Vavangas and Elliot Nolan were able to take their daughter, Evelyn Rose, for a swim on 17 August, despite what was thought possible.
The following day, Vavangas wrote on Facebook: “The most incredible team at Southampton General Hospital paediatric department pulled out every stop, overcame every hurdle, ignored everyone who said ‘it can’t be done’ to give our baby girl, and us an incredible memory. A swim.”
Evelyn had been diagnosed with a very rare chromosomal disorder at 10 months old, which gave her severe epilepsy and difficulty breathing.
Her swim was the first ever for a child being supported by ventilation and the staff at Southampton General Hospital paediatrics department made it happen for Evelyn and her parents.
“Evelyn was a very brave young girl who so many of our staff were extremely fond of and we feel immensely privileged to have provided such a special experience for her and her parents,” said Dr Michael Griksaitis, a consultant in paediatric intensive care at Southampton Children’s Hospital.
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Debbie’ post of gratitude along with the pictures of Evelyn’s swim was shared over 5,000 times within a week of being posted.
Sadly, only two days after Evelyn’s magical moment in the water with her parents, she died in the early hours of Friday 19 August at 3am.