Back In January 2006 Katie collapsed while in church and was taken to hospital. No one was sure what was wrong but the word meningitis was mentioned. She was just coming up to her 13th birthday. A week in hospital followed, various tests were carried out and although she continued to have fits we were relieved when an MRI scan ruled out a brain tumour. Epilepsy was diagnosed and after sorting out the correct levels of medication Katie went back to school.
However, the next few months there was the continual worry that her seizures may be the result of something more serious. Trips to specialists at Great Ormond Street and Harley Street were arranged and did help alleviate some fears but when Katie's condition continued to deteriorate the family managed to persuade Great Ormond Street to do a further scan that would be much more detailed than any previous investigations.
There then came the awful news that it was thought Katie had brain cancer. There was some doubt though and numerous combinations of drugs were tried normally without success and as a bright young girl Katie was beginning to ask questions. Just before Christmas 2006 a scan was brought forward and sadly confirmed our worst fears.
A biopsy was undertaken in February 2007 that further confirmed what the scan had indicated. A decision was then made by Katie and her family not to endure treatment that might prolong her life by a few weeks but that could adversely affect her already failing health.
Katie then found out that her condition was terminal. She had asked her Mum outright and this time honesty seemed the best and only policy. Once she knew of her condition she went for it. It seemed she could not travel anywhere unless it was in a limousine! Trips to the West End, to Euro Disney, Keeper for the Day at Colchester Zoo, Centre Parcs and a wonderful couple of days in London thanks to the "Make A Wish Foundation" including a visit to the set of Blue Peter were just a few of the things she did.
Being a Christian she was baptized and amazed everyone by the way she spoke to a packed congregation at the Danbury Mission Evangelical Church. She said, "I know I will go straight to Heaven. Heaven is a beautiful place. The most perfect place I can ever imagine. Jesus will be there and I wont be suffering anymore with my illness- so don't panic I'll be fine."
Katie knew the prognosis, knew there would be no more school and dedicated her time to being with her family doing her arty things that she loved, playing games and trying to make the best of the awful situation. During her illness she showed tremendous courage and dignity. To wake up every day knowing you have a terminal disease must have been awful enough but for it to happen to a beautiful teenager is almost unimaginable but Katie kept on smiling even through the many bad days.
Throughout the summer of 2007 and up until Christmas Katie's condition worsened. She was now sleeping a lot and spending more and more time at Little Haven Children's Hospice.
Christmas 2007 was again difficult; New Year's Eve was spent at Little Haven and sadly Katie's 15th birthday on February 5th 2008 would be her last. Two weeks later she was rushed into Little Haven and hours later on February 21she slipped away with her family by her side. In many ways it was a relief. She had basically had enough. Yet again Little Haven were there when we needed them. Katie would remain in their Woodland Suite between her passing and the funeral which meant so much to us all.
Katie touched so many lives in so many ways during her short life. Of all the many messages of sympathy we had, and we received around 300 cards, we had messages of condolence from Australia, New Zealand and a personal one from Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. Katie had met him through her stepfather and had clearly left a lasting impression on him.
Katie's legacy is immense and we hope that through the pages of this wonderful website you will see that the world is a far better place for Katie having been part of it despite her tragically short life.